Photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Storm on the Bluff

Some weather experts are predicting a calmer-than-average hurricane season for the Gulf Coast, and we certainly hope that’s the case. But the severe weather system that moved across south Louisiana this week, bringing heavy rain and strong winds, served as a powerful reminder to residents of what bad weather can do.

The storm brought gusts of up to 62 mph, downing trees and cutting off electrical power across the region. In Baton Rouge, a tree fell on a motorist’s car as he was driving, but he was able to crawl out to safety. He was hospitalized with fractured vertebrae. In Jefferson Parish, the wind blew several train cars off the Huey P. Long Bridge.

Luckily, no deaths were reported from the storm. Some schools and offices remained closed on Tuesday because of continuing power outages.

Severe weather is never a welcome thing. But if there is a silver lining in this week’s dark clouds, it is the opportunity that the storm offered for local officials to gain more experience in crisis management. That experience could prove helpful if even larger weather challenges threaten the Gulf Coast this hurricane season.

We commend the first responders who dealt with this week’s emergency, which should also underscore to residents the importance of being prepared for bad weather.

In the meantime, we’ll cross our fingers and hope the region doesn’t experience another storm like this one anytime soon.