brian park

The traffic blockades are ready if needed on Brian Park Drive, which leads to Walker South Road in the background. Walker officials said every preparation has been made to handle whatever Tropical Storm Barry brings.

WALKER – The Walker Police Department is asking residents to avoid any unnecessary travel beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

This is not a curfew, but a request to reduce the chance of traffic accidents and keep officers available if emergency calls come in, according to Capt. John Sharp, police spokesman.

“We ask our residents to avoid any non-essential travel – work-required travel is determined to be essential,” Sharp said.

“Strong winds can cause high-profile vehicles to overturn or leave the roadway. In addition, trees and tree limbs may fall across roadways causing driving hazards which may be difficult to see at nighttime.

“Do not attempt to drive through water across roadways. It takes very little current to push a vehicle off of the road,” Sharp said.

Meanwhile, Chief of Operations Jamie Etheridge said the Department of Public Works telephone number – (225) 665-2467—will be manned 24 hours a day to field calls.

Mayor Jimmy Watson said, “We got generators out and we got people out,” to keep city services working.

City workers collected limbs and debris from the roadsides to keep ditches and culverts from getting blocked and cleaned culverts themselves, Watson said.

Gravity Drainage 5 also helped with the work, he added.

Now it is a mater of being flexible to what the weather brings, the mayor said.

“Every (storm) is a little bit different and every timetable (on landfall) is a little different,” he said.

Sandbags are available at Fire District 4’s Station 1 on Palmetto Street and Sidney Hutchinson Park off Corbin Avenue.

Station 1 will be open 24 hours, while the park will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. near Field 5/Challenger Field.

There is a 25-bag limit per person ad residents will need to fill their own bags unless they are elderly or handicapped.

To access District 4’s Station 1 use Burns Lane to Day Street, to Palmetto.

Blocking Palmetto can cause a problem for fire trucks that need to respond to emergencies.

“We were recently fortunate to have a local resident donate a 12-foot aluminum boat to our department,’ Sharp said. “We are very grateful for that generosity.

“We are now seeking a small outboard motor in good running condition, for use with the boat.

“While we don’t think the rainfall associated with (Tropical Storm)  Barry will cause any devastating flood conditions, we would rather be prepared for the worst,” he said.

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