The Herculean effort to save historic downtown Clarksville from the Flood of 2013 was celebrated by residents and volunteers last week as the waters subsided.
But in the south end of town, some residents were not pleased.
Shane and Sylvia Elliott own S&S Auto Service on Hwy. 79 across the street from the Apple Shed.
While they understand that historic downtown Clarksville had to be saved, they wondered why volunteers weren’t sent their way until the water had already closed in on them.
Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said after she fell the first night of the flood on Wednesday, April 17, she turned the battle over to Alderman Randy Snell and city utilities director Kathy Weiss.
“They kept saying no one was calling us for help,” Smiley recalled on Tuesday, April 30.
Smiley said she was told the Elliotts called at some point, but she was not sure when.
“The city is not responsible for protection of private property,” Smiley said. “The best we can do is provide plastic, sand and sandbags,” for residents.
Volunteers reported to Americorps and were told which homes and businesses needed help, Smiley said.
“Not every volunteer wants to go on private property,” for personal liability reasons, she added.
“The first point of impact is always Front Street,” Smiley said. “If we don’t defend down there, the south end gets it worse because it drains down there.”
But Sylvia Elliott was still miffed.
“There’s more to Clarksville than just the antique stores uptown,” Mrs. Elliott said. “We should be a concern.”
Mayor Smiley owns an antique store in the downtown area.
For the full story, see the May 1 edition of the Louisiana Press-Journal.