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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

JEFFERSON,La. -- Ice is one of the most sought after, but most difficult commodities to find right now. So when people heard they could get it free, they lined up by the thousands.

They lined up for blocks with Jefferson Parish deputies directing long traffic lines. One-hundred seventy-five cars an hour went through one of the seven Jefferson Parish locations giving out water, ice and ready-to-eat military-style meals.

One of the sergeants from the Army and Air National Guard from Houma working at the Metairie location to distribute these commodities said that most of the people are coming here out of need and not out of want.

Several in the car line told us why they came.

'Just to be safe. Don't know how long I'm going to be without power,' said one middle-aged man.

'We just needed some food and water. We're getting low,' said one man.

'To get some stuff. Everything else is just about closed,' said a World War II and Koran Conflict Veteran.

'It's hot in my house and all the drinks are going hot,' said one little girl in the car with her family.

This commodity give-away drew so many people that traffic became a problem for post storm restoration.

'Everybody stayed, so the recovery efforts are just a little bit more difficult because we have all of or citizens here. And what we find is, I think when everybody's out of town, Entergy trucks can freely ride the streets and what we're seeing today is they're having difficulty moving around,' said Cynthia Lee-Sheng, Jefferson Parish Councilwoman from District E.

Officials decided to alleviate the traffic jam by moving the Metairie and Kenner locations.

'Trying to not tie up the traffic. Trying to get the Entergy trucks out and we think we have a set up where it will move faster and quicker at Zephyr Field,' said John Young, Jefferson Parish President.

There is enough of all the commodities to go around until 8 tonight.

The give-aways will also go on Saturday from 8am to 8pm at the same locations.

The one in Kenner, at Butch Duhe' playground, and the one in Metairie on David Drive are being combined and moved to Zephyr Field.

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