BARATARIA, LA – “We can’t go anywhere without crossing over on this little boat they got here now. All our vehicles are on the other side,” said Barataria resident, Judy Collier. “Last time this happened and we couldn’t cross [for] about two weeks was seven years ago.”
Now a rescue or swamp tour boat is the only way Barataria residents like Judy Collier can cross the water. Around 9 p.m. on Sunday, two tugboats crashed into the Barataria Bridge while transporting two barges. The mayor of Lafitte, Timothy Kerner says the bridge could be out of commission for weeks which leaves a major concern for safety.
“A few thousand families in the Barataria side that don’t have access to medical service, at least prime medical service,” explained Kerner. “I don’t want to see these people continue to live this way and have to worry about if they’ll be able to go to school or lose their job going to work or if their mom or dad will get a heart attack and there won’t be an ambulance to come save them.”
Kerner confirms, if a serious medical situation happens, Jefferson Parish will send a helicopter. Although frustrated with the circumstance, community members say they knew what they signed up for.
“When we moved on the other side, they told us ‘If you get upset about the bridge being out, don’t move over here.’ So we’ve gotten accustomed to it” Collier told WGNO. “You wanna live in paradise –cause it is paradise over here– you gotta put up with this.”