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A man and a friend wait on a hillside, watching his car slowly reappear from the rooftop down as floodwaters recede-- slowly-- next to the railroad overpass on Acadian Thruway, as a result of flash flooding from heavy rains, Thursday morning, June 6, 2019. The area routinely backs up and floods during heavy rain events, and claimed a few more cars Thursday.

Another near-tragedy was averted Thursday. Not one but two drivers tried to navigate their cars through the flooded railroad underpass at Acadian Thruway and Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge. Only the top of the roof of one was visible above the water, while the other was totally submerged. Thanks to the quick work of some “superhero” first responders, all of the occupants were pulled to safety.

That underpass floods nearly every time we get heavy rains in that area. Looking over the scene, it appears that the area is not adequately marked to warn drivers of the danger. Visitors who are not familiar with the area, and even those who drive there regularly, may not be able to determine just how dangerous a crossing can be.

Our leaders should come up with some electronic warning lights that would activate when the water starts to rise. Such bright, flashing lights should go a long way to preventing future catastrophes on this street.

On second thought, maybe that will not work. A quick internet search shows that, in the past, people have been known to drive around barricades at this site only to end up with a vehicle stuck in the flood. Since you “can’t fix stupid,” maybe some of the highway funds should be used to build an overpass at this spot. That would be a difficult and costly project. So, drivers, please try to be aware of the dangers — at least until they mass-market amphibious vehicles.


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