While many other areas around the south experienced gridlock due to winter storm conditions, St. Charles Parish and the rest of Louisiana made off much better in comparison.
On Monday, state and local officials began informing residents of a winter storm that threatened to close most roads and bridges, and even leave some without power. Due to that warning, a majority of the residents in St. Charles and around the state stayed home on Tuesday and Wednesday when freezing temperatures made several roads around the area impassible.
Schools and several businesses in the parish also closed for two days, which gave people even more of a reason to stay inside their warm homes and watch the sleet and snow flurries fall.
Because so many people stayed off the roadways, no major accidents were reported in our parish. The state Department of Transportation and Development, local government and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office were quick to inform residents about road and bridge closings while doing their best to keep certain pathways open in case of emergency.
Due to this attention, the Hale Boggs Bridge remained open throughout the storm and allowed some to hop across the Mississippi.
Other nearby states weren’t so lucky. Since many in Alabama didn’t have time to prepare for the inches of snow that struck the area, thousands were stranded on interstates. Icy roads also brought traffic to a standstill in Atlanta, with many being forced to sleep in their offices instead of venturing home.
Some of those who were stuck in traffic in both Birmingham and Atlanta had to abandon their vehicles on the side of the road.
One Alabama city, Tuscaloosa, actually closed every single road Tuesday night by order of the mayor.
In Louisiana we are used to dealing with the threat of severe weather every year during hurricane season and we know how to prepare. Our officials know that we need advance warning to do that. It seems to have paid off for us during this winter storm.