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Lafayette 911: Monday was a busy day

Phone lines down
Posted at 9:42 AM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 10:42:05-04

Monday was a really busy day for Lafayette's 911 operation.

Craig Stansbury, Director of the Lafayette Parish Communication District, said the day was typical and atypical at the same time.

"It was typical in that any time you have a major weather event, your calls will jump a lot. But with a typical major event, we will have warning. So it wasn't typical that we had no warning," Stansbury said. "But the amount of calls we got, it was typical."

Since 5 p.m. Monday, 911 operators received 208 calls about vehicles stalled in water, and 65 calls from people asking for help to get out of their flooded vehicles or homes.

"It was a very busy day," said Stansbury, who also leads the Lafayette Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

"Our operators were definitely inundated. We had to call in operators to take more calls," he said.

One reason for that was the amount of help people need in a major weather event, but there's also a measure of redundancy in emergency calls.

"You could have one road flooded, but multiple calls," he said. "Multiple people will call in about the same incident. And that's what they're supposed to do. But it just makes for more calls."

Hurricanes are "easier" to prepare for, because there's usually a lot of warning, he said.

"When we know a hurricane is coming, we can ramp up personnel and everything else," Stansbury said. "But with no warning, that's more difficult."

We also have numbers from the Lafayette Fire and Police departments:

Lafayette Fire Department
Total calls: 38 calls beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Stalled vehicles: 32 calls
Water in homes: 6 calls requesting rescue from individuals in their homes

Lafayette Police Department
Total calls: 303 calls between at 6:00 p.m. last night through 6:00 a.m. this morning
Stalled vehicles: 123 calls
Downed hazardous wires: 34 calls
Water in homes or vehicles with a person inside: 33 calls
Traffic crashes: 12