Unless you're the kind that is quick about recycling your Mardi Gras beads you probably have at least a garbage bag full of them in your attic or garage. We like Mardi Gras beads, what we don't like is when those beads create hidden problems.

Do you remember when New Orleans experienced some heavy rainfall a few months back and there was flooding throughout the city? There was quite a furor caused when the city's pumping stations didn't operate as planned. So the city made a plan to get the pumps fixed and clean out the storm drains. Guess what they found?

Besides the usual mud and muck, you'd expect to find in a drain city officials in New Orleans say 93,000 pounds of Mardi Gras beads were pulled from the city's drains as well. Wait, that's just from a five-block stretch of St. Charles street near downtown New Orleans.

I wonder how many tons of Mardi Gras beads are in storm drains in  Lafayette, Carencro, Scott, Youngsville, Crowley, Kaplan, Abbeville, and other Acadiana cities that hold Mardi Gras parades and festivities? I am willing to bet we'd find our fair share of busted beads in the muck and mire as well.

You can do your part and not throw beads into the drains or push them into the drains from the street. If we all pick them up, even the busted beads and put them in the trash it could save us millions the next time we get some heavy rain. Which by the way could very likely be on Saturday.