Rural Waters Across the Nation Respond to the Needs of Small Systems
Last week FRWA was in emergency response mode for the second time in two weeks. Generators were loaded in anticipation of Laura which was threatening Texas and Louisiana. The loaded semi tractor trailer left the warehouse in Cairo on Thursday morning after Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday.
The storm, which later weakened to a tropical depression, tore apart homes and businesses and knocked out power to nearly one million customers in Texas and Louisiana. Winds were so strong that trains were literally blown off their tracks as seen in the photo below taken by FRWA staff.
The Louisiana Department of Health tweeted that more than 220,000 residents were facing water system outages, meaning their community "can't access water." The department said that Hurricane Laura was to blame for 67 water system outages due to loss of power.
Rural Waters from across the nation joined efforts to be sure that the citizens affected by Hurricane Laura would have access to clean water. Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arkansas Rural Water Associations responded to the situation with generators, bypass pumps and other equipment and manpower to Louisiana and Texas Rural Water Associations.
At the time of this article, the City of Lake Charles was the largest affected system. The city is now online with 6 water plants, a wastewater plant and 140 lift stations. Forty of the lift stations are on line power with 100 relying on generators. Rural Water is now focusing its attention on smaller systems around Lake Charles and all systems distribution isolations south of the city. Generators that were previously in the north of the state are being cleared to bring south to assist other systems.
The health department in Louisiana is very happy with Rural Water's response and the with the expeditious way that systems were brought back online. The list of water systems needing assistance is down to seven smaller systems. FRWA spent Monday, making sure that all of the remaining smaller systems are being supplied with generators.
For more information related to response efforts in the aftermath of Laura, click here
The joint efforts of Rural Waters from across the nation prove once again that there is power in association.