Sheriff reports no major incidents during Isaac landfall
By JAMES A. ROBICHAUX
No major incidents are being reported in the wake of Hurricane Isaac’s passage through St. Mary Parish.
Sheriff Mark Hebert said, “We were really blessed in St. Mary this time.”
“We patrolled non-stop and communicated non-stop with citizens.”
Hebert said that the job of the sheriff’s office was made much easier with road traffic being so light.
“We had great participation on the curfew. We had no one out, no problems or anything,” he said.
The storm surge is now starting to approach, Hebert said.
“In Burns Point, we anticipated water surge, but that water was sucked out at first,” he said.
The chief of the Patterson Police Department reported no hurricane-related crime in his city.
“This is Patterson. We don’t play that over here,” Patterson chief Patrick M. LaSalle said.
“Our citizens were very cooperative and patient. I think we did well,” he said.
LaSalle said that he anticipated Friday would be a normal day.
“We’ll get it like it never happened,” he said.
The Morgan City Fire Department “stayed busy for the last 48 hours,” according to Chief Morris Price.
“We ran over 50 calls in the last two days. Everything from power lines to trees falling on the residences,” he said, adding that the fire department normally gets about four calls per day.
Price said that normal procedure for a response to downed power lines is to stand by until the electrical crew gets there unless there is an immediate threat of fire.
“At 619 Sixth Street, a tree limb hit the weatherhead on the house and broke the electrical feed, and electrical crews showed up and disconnected the house,” Price said.
Firefighters stayed on-duty for long hours during the storm.
“Everybody basically worked a 36-hour shift,” Price said, adding that if the number of calls was light, on-duty crews on their normal off-duty time might have been able to get an hour of sleep.
Morgan City Assistant Chief Glenn Blanco said that the police department returned to regular shifts at noon today, ending the “double crew” arrangement since Tuesday.
Blanco said that there were no problems with residents.
“The citizens were cooperative in the sense that they were not on the streets during the storm,” he said.
“We’re not quite back to normal yet, but we’re slowly getting there. We’re still monitoring the traffic. Some of the lights are still out,” he said.
Across the river, the Berwick Volunteer Fire Department had a similar experience with “lots and lots of downed power lines.”
Allen Rink, Berwick Volunteer Fire Department chief, said firefighters responded to about 20 calls during the storm, whereas the department normally gets two or three calls during a typical week.
“We had one hot water heater that we had to shut down,” Rink said.
Darryl Perry, Bayou Vista Volunteer Fire Department chief, reported a similar experience.
“We actually fared fairly well here,” he said.
“We did run several medical calls in between gusty winds.”
As parts of northern Louisiana will likely be affected by the remnants of Isaac, the sheriff’s office is “putting together assistance packages” to help the northern parishes, Hebert said.
“We’re going to reach out to our fellow sheriff’s departments. You have 64 sheriffs fixing to contribute,” Hebert said.
“We’re looking good,” Hebert said of the parish. “Roads are clean, and roads are open.”