Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Pat Shingleton:"Locusts and Mast Arms..."

3 years 6 months 6 days ago Friday, August 14 2015 Aug 14, 2015 August 14, 2015 3:00 AM August 14, 2015 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

I seem to be in a routine of identifying where the showers are, rather than where they aren’t...  Recently, folks have been commenting that their yards are dry while others are not. It’s seems we’re anxious for a seasonal change. Even though we experienced a few fronts that have surprisingly slipped through, we await football season and some traditional adjustments. Expect us to exit the 90s on September 18th while we leave the 80s on October 20th.  In the backyard this weekend I heard the sound of what I believed to be a locust.  It brought me back to my summers as a kid and the end of summer sounds and the start of school at Locust Grove School. You may remember video of swinging stop lights during a hurricane or tropical storm. That scene won't be visible in Baton Rouge should future storms slam our area, The Mast Arm is a system of steel posts and arms that are anchored in concrete, 12-feet deep and are built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes.  Miami began installing the Mast Arm in the 1980s and when eight hurricanes hit Florida in 2004 and 2005, more were installed. Installations of the Mast Arm can be seen in Baton Rouge. In years past you may have witnessed hurricane video showing stoplights swinging, blowing, dangling and falling from the hurricane’s force.  The Mast Arm encloses wiring and the stoplights into one unit, eliminating the traditional span-wire traffic signal.  Florida Law requires Mast Arms at all intersections within 10 miles of the coast as Miami-Dade County completed its signal conversions. During recent storms none of the Mast Arms required replacement.


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