Weather causes flooding, power outages
By ROBERT R. JONES III
Bad weather slammed the Tri-City area over the weekend, causing local flooding and power outages in some areas as well as a Berwick apartment fire following a lightning strike Saturday.
According to WWL-TV Meteorologist Laura Buchtel, the area received up to 3 inches of rain locally Friday, up to 1.5 inches of rain Saturday and about 3 inches of rain Sunday.
But according to Berwick Mayor Louis Ratcliff, the town received much more rain during the Saturday afternoon hours.
He said Berwick received about 3 inches of rain in an hour and a half, resulting in street flooding in Country Club Estates.
The same lightning storm also caused an apartment fire after the building was struck, causing electrical wires to melt.
“The city was fortunate because there was ‘normal street flooding,’ but no homes were damaged by the water, which receded about 45 minutes after the rain stopped,” Ratcliff said.
Patterson Director of Public Works Steve Bierhorst said his city was fortunate over the weekend, as it received some heavy rain, but did not experience severe flooding or storm-related emergencies.
He said the majority of the heavy rain fell around Patterson, but the city did not suffer any street closures.
“There were no problems,” Bierhorst said. “Nothing we couldn’t handle.”
Bierhorst said city crews have been working south of the railroad tracks clearing drainage ditches, and he hoped the city would get heavy rains to test their progress in the area, but that did not happen over the weekend.
The Town of Berwick was not so lucky and took the brunt of the inclement weekend weather.
Morgan City Mayor Tim Matte said his city had no reports of flooding or damage from the weekend storms. There were some isolated power outages due to lightning strikes in the area addressed by city crews.
He said this morning, city crews were out in the Conrad area to address power outages related to lightning strikes.
While the city suffered no lasting damage from the bad weather, Matte did say weekend rains affected attendance at the Atchafalaya Eastern District’s “Waves of Thunder” powerboat races at Lake Palourde.
“Attendance at the boat races was down a little due to intermittent rains,” he said. “But there were people out there enjoying themselves.”