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Parish, city respond well to storms

For six days it rained. Not a gentle, soothing rain, but surges of cloudbursts that pushed creeks over their banks, plunged roads underwater and didn’t so much as give a courtesy knock on the doors of the homes into which the murky water flooded. By the time a rapidly moving front shoved the stubborn, stagnant low-pressure system out of the way on Sunday evening, 18.2 inches of rain had fallen across Lincoln Parish. Whatever was typically normal quickly ceased to be.

Schools closed. Emergency responders made high-water rescues via boat and physically carried other people out of low-lying areas. Even mail carriers couldn’t make all of their appointed rounds.

According to National Weather Service numbers, more rain fell on parts of Lincoln Parish than it did on parts of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Almost daily local emergency officials said they’d never seen anything like the sustained weather event that seemed to keep holding their homeland in its grip.

Yet despite the damage, the inconvenience and the tension of the Flood of 2016, there is plenty to celebrate. There was no looting, no deliberate destruction of property, no grandstanding on the part of any elected officials, no unlawful behavior just because, none of the things that, sadly, seem often to come in the wake of natural disasters.

Instead, both individuals and organizations showed up, unsolicited to fill sandbags that were made free to residents by both the city and parish. Volunteers offered additional boats, emergency clean-up aid, shelter and other help.

None of that should be surprising, however. Years ago, former evacuees from across the South dubbed Lincoln Parish the best place to come to when tragedy forced them from their homes.

So it only makes sense that local folks who know so well how to care of strangers would rally to take care of their own.

We are proud of Lincoln Parish — of our first responders, of our law enforcement personnel, of our National Guardsmen, of our citizens. People here know what it means to be a community — and it shows.

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