Concordia Parish fared well as Tropical Storm Barry crawled through the region Friday through Monday, Homeland Security Director Guy Murray and other public officials said Tuesday.
“Monday, we had significant rainfall within portions of the parish,” Murray said. “I have heard several rain gauges between Ferriday and Vidalia recording over six inches between Sunday night and Monday morning.
“We were lucky we didn't receive the wind or the rainfall the National Weather Service was predicting late last week.”
He said the “storm system has not had any negative effect on the Mississippi River as of yet. The 28-day forecast still shows the river falling over the next few weeks and should be at flood stage on August 6th. We have been above flood stage for 193 consecutive days, the longest period ever recorded.”
Police Jury President Jimmy Wilkinson said some 15,000 sandbags were distributed at the correctional facility on Hwy. 15 and at Fire District No. 2 on Airport Road.
He said the Jury keeps an inventory of 3,000 on hand at all times.
“That gives us a head start,” he said.
He said Jury crews worked throughout the weekend unstopping culverts and handling other weather-related issues.
“One thing about this storm was it was eye-opening,” he said. “We were able to see how the water flows and identify the lowest points. This will help us in the future.”
Wilkinson said some roads were closed due to high water.
Area officials had briefings with the National Weather Service’s Jackson, Miss., office to keep abreast of news on the storm.
“There were some power outages,” he said, “but overall it was an organized response locally. It was amazing how everybody pulled together.”
He said the bulk of the rainfall came on Monday with more than five inches in some areas.
“Overall, we were really lucky,” Wilkinson said.
Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy David Hedrick praised parish officials and agencies working together through the bad weather.
He said one of the most unusual problems encountered was in Vidalia with alligators.
“They were sunning on the sandbags at people’s houses,” he said, but would leave when deputies arrived to shoo them away.
Hedrick said deputies also checked on the elderly and disabled that are on a special call list compiled by CPSO.
“We took sandbags to houses for people unable to get them for themselves,” he said.
He said there were some weather-related fender benders, but no injuries reported.
Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said Monday the town recorded more than six inches of rain on Monday that caused some minor street flooding. He said businesses on the riverfront were unable to open due to water on the street.
“We had a minimum loss of power,” Craft said, “but did have tree limbs on the lines.”
He said town crews have now returned to normal services.
“We were blessed,” Craft said. “It could have been much worse.”