Mardi Gras party goes on despite heavy rains in New Orleans

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by PAUL MURPHY

WWL-TV

Posted on March 5, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 6 at 12:16 PM

NEW ORLEANS — In New Orleans, a heavy band of showers passed over the city Saturday afternoon, shortening Mardi Gras parades and sending revelers scurrying for cover.

The downpour lasted about an hour.

Despite the rain, people continued to pass a good time.

One young woman said, "We're so wet right now, it's unreal. Mardi Gras's amazing. I love New Orleans."

At one point, there was more than a foot of water on the street in parts of the French Quarter.

At Conti and Bourbon, some cars had difficulty maneuvering through the flooding.

One woman used some plastic bags as boots to get through the water. Other folks just played in the rain.

"It's pretty wet. It's a little bit annoying," one man said.

But, his female companion was clearly less effected by the storm.

"It's not stopping our good time today," she said. "It's Mardi Gras. It's New Orleans. Mardi Gras. The spirit is still here. Everything is hunky-dory, sunshine and butterflies. Time to party."

It also rained on the parades in New Orleans.

That forced floats in Iris and Tucks to take some detours to get riders off safely.

"The rain hit pretty hard, but I tell you what, the crowd was great because even up to the end with the rain as heavy and as hard as it was, they were out there and they were pushing for beads and so it was good," said Tucks rider Tom Langsford. "Even with the rain it was good."

"It snuck out from behind the clouds and tried to drown us," said tractor driver Jason Daigle. "It got us wet real good. We took a bath today."

Parade organizers moved up the start times hoping to make it downtown before the heavy downpours.

"I think they timed it well. I think they really tried hard to catch that window between the morning and the afternoon when it got really, really heavy," said Langsford. "I think they tried and we did pretty good."

Back on Bourbon Street, the Carnival Celebration barely missed a beat.

As one partier put it, "Rain makes corn. Corn makes whiskey. And we like whiskey."

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