Summer, often celebrated as a season to temporarily escape life’s cares, can mean something quite different when Mother Nature makes mischief along the Gulf Coast, as Louisiana residents bracing for the possible arrival of Hurricane Barry this weekend already know.
It’s hurricane season in this part of the world, and a tropical system that could make landfall in a few days as Hurricane Barry has Louisiana in its sights. New Orleans residents were already worried by weather on Wednesday, as hard rains flooded many city streets and closed down government offices. With lots more rain likely this weekend, residents across south Louisiana are on edge.
Major disasters such as hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav, as well as the 2016 flooding, underscored how grave such tropical systems can be.
We surely hope the weather apparently heading our way won’t be as bad as those historic events, but history clearly underscores the need to be vigilant.
At a press briefing Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he expects Louisiana to get up to 15 inches of rain on Friday and Saturday; the governor also said that some Mississippi River levees south of New Orleans could be overtopped. River levels are already higher than normal because of this spring’s heavy rains.
A grim comfort of this week’s weather is that Louisiana residents have lots of experience in facing such threats. By now, residents should already know the value of having an emergency plan in place, stocking up on needed supplies, and preparing for the prospect of power outages. It’s also a good idea to check on neighbors, especially elderly residents who might need a little extra help.
We urge residents to consult the news for official updates on the weather and stay off the roads in coming days if possible. Louisianans are resilient, and we’ll get through the next few days as we always do — by being resourceful and sticking together.
Here’s hoping that this week’s angry brew in the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t live up to its advance billing. In the meantime, public safety agencies — and those they serve — are wise to get ready if it does.