The Daily Review/Bill Decker
Angela McJimsey stocks shelves with bottled water Thursday at Patterson's Cypress Point Super Market.
The Daily Review/Bill Decker
Harry Freyoux digs Thursday to improve drainage in the ditch that runs along the south side of U.S. 90 in Patterson.
Tri-City people dig out, stock up as storm approaches
PATTERSON — As Tropical Storm Barry churned its way through the Gulf of Mexico toward landfall, Tri-City area people on Thursday continued the work of preparing for high water, heavy rain and the possibility of power outages.
In Patterson, Harry Freyoux was one of the parish and municipal public works employees hustling to check drainage systems.
Freyoux was widening a ditch on the south side of U.S. 90. He described the ditch as an important means of moving water out of the area.
Not much panic buying was evident at Morgan City’s Cannata’s Market and Patterson’s Cypress Point Super Market. But employees reported steady business.
At Cypress Point, Angela McJimsey was kept busy keeping shelves stocked with a hurricane staple: bottled water. McJimsey paused for a word with customer Charlene Hebert of Patterson.
Hebert wasn’t exactly stocking up because of the approaching storm — not directly, anyway.
“I’m not getting ready for the hurricane,” Hebert said. “But I drink water. And I didn’t want to be without water.”
St. Mary Parish School Board employees have been busy, too.
At Thursday’s board meeting in Centerville, Maintenance Supervisor Brad Wiese ticked off a long line of steps his department is making.
Computers were moved away from windows and covered with plastic, he said.
Emergency generators were checked, and outdoor equipment was secured.
The department inventoried equipment and checked supplies of replacement ceiling tiles and other items.
Big storms bring the potential for power outages, and Cleco says it’s gearing up.
“Cleco is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Barry and preparing for its possible impact across our service territory,” said James Lass, Cleco’s general manager of distribution operations and emergency management, in a press release. “All Cleco personnel are on stand-by and ready to respond.
“Additionally, since [Wednesday], we’ve increased our number of external resources for a total of 800 line mechanics and 395 vegetation specialists.”
For storm preparation and safety tips, as well as up-to-the-minute outage information and restoration efforts, visit Cleco’s Storm Center website www.cleco.com/storm-center or follow the company on Facebook at @ClecoPower.
Experts warn residents not to use gas-powered generators indoors or in other enclosed spaces where dangerous carbon monoxide can accumulate.
They also say residents should connect important appliances directly to generators rather than energizing the wiring in a home, which can create a shock hazard in downed power lines nearby.
Local governments made sand for sandbags available around the region. Here’s the list:
—Sand and sandbags became available Wednesday at the St. Mary Parish barn at La. 182 and Little Pines Lane in Bayou Vista next to the water tower and at the barn by the Hanson Canal on La. 182 in Garden City. Residents should bring their own shovels.
—The city of Morgan City has placed two piles of sand under the U.S. 90 bridge on David Drive in Morgan City. This sand is for public use and is not bagged.
Any citizen wishing to obtain a small amount of sand bags may go to that location and fill the amount they need. Remember to bring a shovel.
—Berwick has also placed sand near Town Hall under the overpass for use in sandbags.
—In Patterson, sand for sandbags is available on Taft Street near the water plant and across the railroad tracks near the fire station.
—Sand and bags will be available behind the car wash at the corner of Stephensville Road and La. 70 for lower St. Martin Parish residents to fill their own sandbags, according to a St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office news release.
The site will be open until 7 p.m. Friday.