Folks in the Breaux Bridge area got a bad lick from Mother Nature early last Thursday morning when what had to be a small tornado ripped across the community. Bruce Montesano’s State Farm Insurance office was severely damaged and finally declared a total loss. The Oxlite facility and Pellerin Marble & Granite on Rees Street were also hit by the high winds, along with a number of homes.
And over in Lafayette’s Oil Center several office buildings near Lafayette General Hospital were also badly damaged.
Fortunately, the storm roared through just after daybreak, before workers arrived at the damaged offices. If any of those buildings had been occupied when the winds hit, there surely would have been some serious injuries and possibly loss of life. So, we were fortunate in that regard.
It’s always amazing (and pretty scary) to see the severe damage that these tornadoes can leave in their wake.
The only consolation when comparing tornado damage to the wrath of a hurricane is that tornadoes affect relatively isolated areas so emergency response is pretty quick and more than adequate. Hurricane winds are so widespread that first responders and other aid providers have a much more difficult time coping with the massive damage.
CORRECTION . . .
In last week’s comments about the state’s decision to develop an RV campground in the Longfellow-Evangeline State Commemorative Area, I suggested that St. Martinville may never see a motel built in or near the city. I mistakenly overlooked the fact that Beno Talley has operated his motel on La. 31/Main Hwy. south of town since 1983. And Be-no tells me that he is in the process of expanding his 20-room facility by adding another 10 rooms to the complex. So, if you have out-of-town guests coming to visit and you can’t accommodate them at home, give Beno a call. And don’t for-get that we also have several very nice bed & breakfast inns in the city.
THIS & THAT
R.I.P. – We sadly note the death of Dan McKain who, with his wife Ginny, was a frequent contributor to our paper. Although he and Ginny travelled widely, working as free-lance journalists and publicists for several trade organizations, he had a deep affection for St. Martin Parish and its people. He had the natural curiosity and ability to make quick friends with strangers that mark a good journalist.
We will miss visiting with him on his occasional stops here at the office.
As one grows older, it becomes more difficult to hold on to the illusion that you might live forever. And while the end is inevitable and always leaves grieving survivors behind, Dan died with a camera in hand, doing a job he truly enjoyed.
There are certainly worse (and more painful) ways to go ...
Memorial Day Weekend – The month of May can get a bit hectic with so many end-of-school activities like honors nights, athletic banquets, the windup of baseball, softball, track and field, and spring football that time really seems to fly.
It just hit me Monday that we’re coming up on the end of school (Friday) and the Memorial Day weekend. We didn’t have any immediate family involved in either high school or college graduations; so we didn’t have much to do with that. And we were able to spend part of last week relaxing at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park — thankfully the most violent weather passed mostly north of the park, although the power was out for several hours, so we don’t have any big plans for this weekend.
We really enjoy plying the many waterways of the Lake Fausse Pointe area in our party barge. We came across one stretch of a bayou where the banks were lined with huge mimosa trees in full bloom. An unexpected, and beautiful sight.
I’ve been having the party barge for about six years and was able, this past winter, to upgrade the 40 HP two-cycle outboard to a 90 HP four-stroke engine and it really makes a difference. The extra power is great, especially when you’ve got seven or eight (or more) people aboard, but the thing I really like is the quiet running that allows you to carry on a conversation without having to raise your voice. And it’s true that the four strokers are much more fuel efficient. Plus it’s great not to have to measure out the right amount of oil to match 11 gallons of gasoline.
On To Chicago – Daughter Suzanne and her family (husband Brent Hebert and young daughters Mary and Elizabeth) loaded up their van and a U-Haul trailer and left early Tuesday for Chicago, where Brent will be doing his clinical rotations for the next 12 months as he works towards his medical degree. They’ve spent the past 2½ years in the Cayman Islands and Miami, so they’ll have a big adjustment to make when those frigid north winds begin blowing off Lake Michigan this winter.
They’ve been staying with us for the past four or five weeks so the house will be pretty empty again now that they’re gone.
Brent, who’s a Lafayette native, is hoping he will be able to return to Louisiana to complete his training after his stint in the Frozen North.