Editorial: Be aware of Lenoir street barricades

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 01:09 AM

With all the intense storms in recent weeks, this area has had more than its share of falling trees and localized flooding, which in turn has kept emergency officials and utility crews hopping. Tuesday brought another such storm – thunder clapping, power going out, a gully washer passing through.

Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Briscoe said during Tuesday afternoon’s meeting of the Committee of the Whole that in these intense storms, emergency crews often must scramble from fallen tree to flooded street to erect barricades, and only after all are blocked off do they have time to cycle back and see what can be done.

But an unmanned barricade apparently is a puzzlement or even an irritant to some drivers, who get out of their cars and move it or else drive around it and continue on toward the hazard, Briscoe said.

If you are driving toward a fallen tree, presumably you will realize it before you hit it, though we have seen over the years a few cases where drivers did not recognize the gray-green blur of leafy branches ahead and plowed full-speed into them.

But if you drive into water that’s deep enough, you could find your car stalled and stuck – and perhaps with a new mechanical worry. Ever try to get water out of an engine?

Yes, sometimes the barricades are there well after the storm has passed and the water receded, but Briscoe said some drivers just aren’t paying attention.

Remember: Barricades don’t fall from the sky. If the road you are on is blocked by one, there’s probably a reason for it. Pay attention to your surroundings.