Challenges continue one week after Ida

Staff Report
Utility crews from Plaquemine City Light & Water and other providers has helped restore operations in Iberville Parish following the landfall of Hurricane Ida on Aug. 29.

One week after Hurricane Ida barreled across south Louisiana, Iberville and other parishes continue to feel after-effects from the storm.

While Iberville Parish did not sustain the level of intensity Ida brought to areas directly in the path, hardships remain for the area.

In two weeks, response to the storm has shifted.

“Before the storm, it was all about the preparation and having inmates help with sandbags, but in the aftermath it has shifted from helping people getting lights on and now keeping order at gas stations,” Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said.

The fuel shortage after the storm predicates demand that includes the widespread use of generators during the power outages, along with repair crews buying fuel for their vehicles.

Iberville Sheriff’s Deputies help with limb removal after the arrival of Hurricane Ida last week. A largescale group effort from private and public entities has helped pull the parish through the hardships from the Category 4 storm.

The shortage has led to concerns about the long lines and tensions that go with the wait.

“One man said he came to Iberville from Prairieville because he did not want to risk his life,” Stassi said. “He was scared someone would do something to him.”

Plaquemine Mayor Ed Reeves said he and other officials are still “counting their blessings” after seeing the extent of damage in other parishes.

“That could’ve been us,” he said.

While he feels grateful for the minimal damage in Plaquemine and other areas, the long lines and the tensions at the pump trigger concern.

“It sometimes feels like we don’t live in the United States right now” Reeves said

The work of city and parish employees has been the saving grace, he said.

“I want to thank all the City employees for their dedication and hard work in a very difficult time. The Police Department also did an outstanding job; and when we needed the parish, they came through with the heavy equipment necessary to clear huge trees off power lines. I thank Parish President Mitchell Ourso and Public Works Director Mark Migliacio for their assistance with that during the night of the hurricane in pouring rain and heavy winds. It shows what can be accomplished by working together.”