Saturday, September 24, 2005

The drive in

11 a.m., 9/24/05

The 9:30 a.m. drive into The Times office in downtown Shreveport found streets and residential yards already littered with small broken limbs, leaves and an occasional strip of sheet metal blown from some commercial awning.
Driving north on East Kings Highway power crews were already at work near the intersection with Patton Avenue. The traffic light at East Kings and Captain Shreve Drive was out, so take care.
Hydroplaning was a distinct possibility on Youree Drive. Drop the speed.
I flipped on the TV in my office to find a press conference of public safety and relief agencies seeking to reassure the public everything was in hand.
Some power outages were reported by Bossier Parish Sheriff's spokesman Ed Baswell.
Shelters are at capacity save for a few spots at CenturyTel which finally opened Friday afternoon.
State Rep. Cedric Glover, a candidate in next year's Shreveport's mayor's race, was the only politician in the on-camera tableau of public safety and relief agency representatives. He offered thanks from the state Legislature for northwest Louisiana's hospitality to evacuees and appealed for additional shelter volunteers, particularly in those overnight shifts from midnight til dawn.
Poised city spokeswoman Liz Swaine did what she does so well, drawing from her years as a TV news anchor to smoothly coordinate time at the microphone from one spokesman to the other, and even throwing in some humor. Noting that she had asked everyone to mute their cell phones, putting them on a vibration mode, she remarked about the "sea of buzzing behind me'' from all steady calls that were coming in to the assembled people.

Craig Durrett, editorial page editor


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