Water Industry News
Gulf Coast cities wait for help from Rural
State Rural Water Associations from as far away as Alaska and
Maine have offered much needed help to the hard hit areas
particularly Mississippi & Louisiana.
The National Rural Water Association reported, “Many of our
member systems (about 50 plus) that we have talked with are
without power. We currently have at least 12 generators in
transit to the affected locations. Several of these systems have
depleted their water storage supply.”
Mississippi Rural Water’s greatest obstacle is the fuel
shortage. At the few stations that actually have electrical
power so they can run their fuel pumps, people are waiting up 2
hours for gasoline. Mississippi Rural Water is experiencing
difficulty in getting enough fuel to run the portable generators
that are desperately needed by water and wastewater utilities
trying to re-establish service to the region. Water and
wastewater service is critical in helping to control the
outbreak of disease.
Louisiana, the hardest hit of all the states, continues to wait
for the go ahead from its Emergency Management Team to begin the
grueling task of reestablishing utility services.
According to their staff is on alert and anxiously waiting for
the go ahead from the Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals (DHH) to enter the disaster area.
Currently, LRWA is working with the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) and DHH to gather information regarding
Louisiana water and wastewater systems without power, line
pressure, or other critical service elements.
LRWA has contacted all of its members not affected by Katrina
asking for generators, pumps, chlorine and other crucial
elements. These items will be matched with the appropriate
systems needing assistance. Once the all clear is given, help
will be on its way.
According to Wendy LaFleurLaFleur, of the Louisiana Rural Water Association,
"Only federally authorized people are currently allowed into the affected areas.” She also indicated, that many other volunteers are standing by including LRWA’s associate members (suppliers) who will send equipment and personnel to the scene.
Florida Rural Water Association is packed up and ready to roll to Louisiana’s aid. Since Florida was hit 4 times last year, FRWA is probably, the most experienced of all the state affiliates in hurricane response procedures. They know about the voracious need for portable generators along with experienced disaster response personnel.