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Story Archives: Cleaning up in aftermath of Gustav, Ike
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|Cleaning up in aftermath of Gustav, Ike|
As Concordia Parish and the rest of Louisiana continue the cleanup in the aftermath of hurricanes Gustav and Ike, a dollar figure on total economic losses is still being tallied.
Locally, crops in the parish were devastated from Gustav, and flooding caused many problems. Not an area of the parish escaped the storm's impact, which dumped some two feet of rain in some areas of this region in a 48-hour period.
No one here ever witnessed such rainfall and a Corps' official said last week that the excessive amount was a record. The unprecedented heavy rains reminded everyone that Concordia needs a parishwide drainage program.
The Police Jury has been well aware of the need and as recently as last year held a meeting with federal and state officials to request a feasibility study on what can be done to improve drainage through Bayou Cocodrie, which drains the entire parish. The bottom line on such a comprehensive project, like so many others, is finding the money to do the work. The Jury can't afford the millions of dollars such a massive program will require.
Maintenance of existing drainage, such as cleaning out trash, debris and trees from ditches, must be done and the heavy rains two weeks ago clearly showed where the major clogs are. But it will still take a parishwide effort, including input and help from the towns and every community.
While the storm was an example of the destructive power of nature, it was also an example of a community pulling together. Local and state leaders did an outstanding job in a trying situation. Parish employees, those out in the weather and those inside helping coordinate the efforts, worked long, toilsome hours.
Utility crews worked round the clock and Concordia Electric reported that some of its crews were provided meals by residents in extreme rural areas as the days and nights began to run together. To those who worked so hard and so long, we thank you and commend you for your dedication.
Now let's all help in the clean-up. Clean up your yard and pick up the trash and limbs. If there's debris in a ditch that drains your property, pick it up. In towns, sweep your sidewalk, take the dead plant out of the planter and replace it with something new.
And if you want to see a shining example of what to strive for, take a good look the Delta Music Museum, the Arcade Theatre and the grounds on Louisiana Avenue in Ferriday.
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