If we should have learned anything from Wednesday's storm system in New Orleans, it’s that a good many of our citizens are stupid beyond comprehension. I live on a side street in the University area, where even the main roadways flood. Nevertheless, service vans, sedans and large pickup trucks plowed through the almost two feet of standing water in my street — I am guessing looking for an alternate route. One woman’s high-speed efforts pushed a wall of white-capped water into steps and parked cars, while also dislodging mulch and plants from flower beds that was then carried further down the street. When I created a barricade comprised of a trash can topped with a section of wood (to alert these folks that the street was flooded), several drivers complained. One woman said, “you can’t block a city street!” The fact that the road was already impassible did not seem to matter to her. She claimed she was on her way to the hospital — probably a lie, since there is no hospital in the direction she was headed — but I hope if she was seeking medical assistance, they gave her an injection of some common sense, too.
Could we all just agree to stay off the roads when large storms are dumping extraordinary amounts of rainwater onto the city? Could we agree that if the main road is flooded, the smaller streets won’t be any better? Could employers exercise more logic and not send workers out for non-life safety tasks in the middle of such storms and in the minutes afterward? Could people move their cars into their driveways or to higher ground so that oil slicks aren’t yet another ingredient to the filth already floating in this standing water? Isn’t everyday life sufficiently stressful that we shouldn’t be adding to it by imposing self-centered selfishness, a lack of planning and a woeful shortage of common sense towards our neighbors, too?
Alas, while writing this note, someone moved my barricade so that a whole new convoy of vehicles were plowing through the water still filling my street. And when they have to file insurance claims for damage to their cars and trucks, I guess we can thank them for keeping local insurance rates at high levels, too. I'm almost longing for a return to triple-digit heat and cloudless skies.