Massive sandbag operations at state prisons
ST. GABRIEL - Inmates have filled about 17,000 sandbags in the past 48 hours at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in anticipation of Tropical Storm Barry, expected to make landfall Saturday in Louisiana as a hurricane. A spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Corrections says most prisons in South Louisiana have similar efforts underway.
The prisoners are using special equipment, capable of filling sandbags five times faster than what it would take someone with just a shovel. Only inmates who volunteer are doing the work and they are rewarded with extra food and beverages.
"They care about the people in the community," said Deputy Warden Perry Stagg. "They want to make sure all the homes and businesses are taken care of."
The majority of the sandbags are being utilized by local governments and levee boards. There is also a steady supply of pre-filled sandbags in the parking lot at the Elayn Hunt facility for anyone who wants to take them.