Hurricane Laura – The Aftermath

A friend in need is a friend in deed– Ancient Proverb

Virtually everyone alive has heard this statement at least once in their lives. For the residents of Jackson Parish the past several days has brought a real understanding to what age old saying means.  While dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Laura locals have found several new “friends” indeed.

These new “friends” are the electrical workers and tree cutters, some from as far away as New Hampshire and Massachusetts, who have worked tirelessly along with local Entergy crews to help restore power to the parish. There is the National Guard who for days has stood out in the blazing heat to provide families with food, ice and water.

Then there are the residents of Jackson Parish who have pitched in to help their neighbors in time of need such as the congregation of the Galilee Baptist Church in Jonesboro who at Pierre Park this past Sunday provided meals for those who have lost power.

Someone once said that it is only in times of peril that you can truly appreciate the times of comfort. This has also proven to be so very true. Thanks to Jackson Parish’s newest “friends” the time forced to wait till things get back to normal is moving as quickly as can be done.

Power update:

Most of the incorporated areas of the parish and major subdivisions including the Caney Lake area already have power or will in a day or two. Entergy expects to have basically the entire parish back with power by the end of the week with possibly the exception of certain areas where the roads haven’t been cleared.

Road update:

This is the one area that got the quickest results. State and parish road crews were at work immediately to remove trees, limbs and debris from the roadways. Residents all over the parish also pitched in to help with the cleanup. Virtually every roadway in the parish is now passable.

School update:

Per Jackson Parish School Superintendent David Claxton classes will begin as soon as possible after September 2nd. Keep a check on social media pages for the latest updates. No further injuries or deaths have been reported since the Parish was saddened to learn of John Hollings being killed in the storm.

Water supply update:

Water problems are plaguing the parish due to the lack of electricity required to run the pumps causing the tanks to run low or even dry in some cases. The Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office, LA National Guard and WestRock have been able to acquire generators to help with the pumping of water but until power has been completely restored possible flow problems will continue.

Services update:

Those who needed gas Friday and Saturday were forced to wait in lines at local gas stations not seen since the 1973 oil embargo with some finally reaching their destination only to find out there was no more gas. Most of the grocery markets and convenience stores were unable to open due to lack of power but those that did soon were closed again as supplies quickly diminished. 

The normal ability to purchase goods and services as well as gasoline should get back to normal by this weekend. This is according to an authoritative figure at one of Jonesboro’s leading food markets who and the owners of a couple of local convenience stores in Jonesboro.  

Statewide update:

The death toll from Hurricane Laura rose to 14 statewide on Sunday. Most of these deaths are attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning as result of running a generator indoors and not having proper ventilation established. 

More than 350,000 Louisiana residents remained without electricity Sunday, while 87 water systems serving upward of 150,000 people remained inoperable.  As of 9/1 more than 10,000 people were staying in hotels across the state and more than 324,000 were still without power.

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