By: Mark Fitzgerald
THE DAILY SENTRY-News suffered no damage at all in the flood that otherwise paralyzed the New Orleans suburb of Slidell.
“It was remarkable. All around us there was water everywhere. It was as if we were an island,” said Terry Maddox, general manager of the 5,228-circulation Wick Communi- cations Group paper.
Despite a downpour that dropped 17 inches of rain on Slidell May 9 ? which followed seven inches the day before ? the plant, offices and trucks of the Sentry-News remained dry, Maddox said.
“Our biggest problem was that many employees were not able to get in,” he said. Only 12 of the 40 employees were able to make it to work May 9.
Still, the paper managed to produce an 18-page A section, which was down from what normally would have been a 24-page section.
The B section had been preprinted and, as a precaution against the predicted flooding, stored in trucks rather than delivered to carriers.
“Delivery wise, we didn’t miss a day of delivery,” Maddox said.
Not surprisingly, however, there were subdivisions that carriers could not reach in Slidell, a marshy, low-lying city of 24,000 linked to New Orleans by a bridge across Lake Pontchartrain.
About half of Slidell’s 5,000 homes were evacuated because of the rains.
“It seems like in difficult times people really work together to pull through,” Maddox said.