National Rural Water Association

2915 S. 13th Street

Duncan, OK 73533

580-252-0629   FAX 580-255-4476

Contact:  Chris Wilson, nrwacw@nrwa.org

November 24, 2008
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LRWA’s relief efforts applauded by security committee 

 

BATON ROUGE, La. – Executive Director Patrick Credeur and Circuit Rider Rusty Reeves watched while members of Louisiana’s Joint Select Committee on Homeland Security applauded. 
                Credeur and Reeves gave a presentation to the committee outlining the activities of the Louisiana Rural Water Association, including their day-to-day operations and relief efforts during the 2008 hurricane season. Hurricane Gustav made landfall in Louisiana Sept.1, followed by Hurricane Ike on Sept. 13. Post-storm surveys revealed that 410 water and wastewater systems in 46 parishes required 663 generators because of power outages.
                LRWA set up a command center in Henderson, La. where teams from Louisiana, the Arkansas Rural Water Association, the Alabama Rural Water Association and Florida Rural Water Association launched their assistance efforts.
                LRWA delivered generators to water and wastewater systems, most only twelve hours after the request, until the supply was exhausted. Rural water teams provided 771 on-site technical assistance visits to 370 affected water and wastewater systems. These assistance visits and generator deliveries included prisons and faith-based groups that depend on rural water.
                Some organizations contacted LWRA because of the length of time required to request assistance with other agencies. Rural water staff directed them to their parish Emergency Operation Centers, only to have the organizations call again 24 hours later because they had not received aid.
                “I’m not here to cut down anyone’s assistance during the two storms, what I am saying is that there is a bottleneck somewhere and it should be fixed,” Credeur said.
                Credeur and Reeves closed the presentation by presenting recommendations, such as including rural water in coordination with other agencies, encouraging utilities to participate in pre-event drills and establishing evacuation shelters for water personnel.

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