Sandbags available to Concordia Parish residentsPublished 2:31pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012
FERRIDAY — Hundreds of Concordia Parish residents picked up sandbags Wednesday hoping to protect their homes from the 10 or more inches of rain Hurricane Isaac is expected to bring to the Miss-Lou.
The sandbags will be available for pickup at both Concordia Parish Correctional Facility and River Correctional Facility on Louisiana 15 in Ferriday until storm conditions worsen.
Concordia Correctional Warden Lance Moore said inmates had filled 6,000 bags in a matter of hours Wednesday.
“We’re going to keep filling these bags as long as we can, but if we start getting torrential downpour we’ll have to stop because once the sand gets wet it’s harder to fill in the bags,” Moore said. “If the weather gets real bad, we don’t want people driving on the roads to come pick them up for safety reasons.
“But we’ve had a steady convoy of people and everyone seems to be appreciating the sandbags.”
Vidalia resident Clair Shields drove off the prison lot with 20 sandbags in his truck bed, ready to pile them in front of his house.
“I’ll be using these to make a layer at the bottom of my front door,” Shields said. “(Hurricane) Rita brought a bunch of rain, but didn’t do anything to the house.
“We’re just hoping it’ll be the same thing with this storm.”
And both the staff of the prison and the inmates said working through previous natural disasters helped them prepare for Isaac.
“We’re definitely better prepared now because of Hurricane Katrina and the flood last year,” Moore said. “We made a lot of changes to our procedures with the sandbags because of those previous experiences.
“Experience is priceless with these situations.”
The same inmates that worked to fill sandbags for the Mississippi River flood last year were back to work Wednesday, but with a better method to the madness this time around.
“It’s been a lot easier since we built these stands,” inmate Jason Taylor said. “It’s a big cone, and we put the sand in the cone and it dumps down into the bag below.
“This is nothing compared to the flood last year.”
And with Isaac’s path still uncertain Wednesday afternoon, Moore said the prison was taking every precaution to keep operating during the storm.
“We’ve checked all of our generators to ensure they’re working, we have extra gasoline ready for the deputies in case they can’t fill up, and we’ve reviewed all of our evacuation routes for the worst case scenario,” Moore said. “We’re just preparing for the worst and expecting the best from this storm.”