The continued water emergency for the Coushatta water system caused a dire need for help in the community. During this time of extreme heat, the need for accessible water has topped the needs list. Not only are people in the community hampered by low to no water, but the worry of being able to fight a possible fire in the town has become an overwhelming concern. Working on behalf of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, Shane Hubbard leads a team of parish officials who have worked with the city to coordinate multiple avenues of aid.
On August 22, water distribution to citizens affected by the outages and boil advisory began at the fairgrounds. With the help of parish officials and police jury workers, more than 30 pallets of water were loaded in individual cars and trucks. The boxed water can be stored and used for weeks. In all, GOHESP secured 85 pallets of water. These were distributed to schools, the hospital, and the jail.
Relief to the school system included air-conditioned mobile toilet facilities, hand washers, water tankers, and bottled water. The facilities are at the elementary, middle, and high schools. Surrounding water systems filled the tankers with acceptable water. Students and workers have bottled water on hand throughout the day. Superintendent Strong worked diligently to make sure schools were open, and students were comfortable.
An additional request was made to the Louisiana Rural Water Association for help finding leaks hindering the water system. LRWA is a non-profit organization that assists small water systems. Individuals arrived on Tuesday morning to offer assistance.
Constant communication with GOHSEP is maintained throughout the emergency. A team from the Governor’s office is tracking the progress of not only the water pumps but also with the Department of Health to assist in getting the water to acceptable consumable levels.
In all, government funds are being accrued each day on the assistance that is coming into our town. Just the cost of the water and portable trailers for bathrooms is $447,060.00 for this week.