Lowndes water authorities plan emergency response

Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Rodney Rudolph, held a meeting at the Lowndes County Water Authority on June 20, at 3:00 p.m., facilitating a discussion among surrounding local water authorities regarding a plan of action in case of a water outage emergency.

“Emergencies don’t always involve the police or ambulances, an emergency can be a person without basic utilities,” said Rudolph in opening the meeting.

This past December 2022, frozen pipes left all of Letohatchee without water for nearly a week, while Hayneville residents dealt with low water pressure and contaminated deposits in their water.

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The situation was very concerning to the county’s residents, Rudolph said, and the EMA Director stressed the importance of not repeating the outages.

Those that attended the meeting included Hayneville mayor and water authority representative Jimmy Davis,, Steven Logan the Mosses water authority representative, Mayor Anne Spooner of Lowndesboro, and Mayor Obruty Ozier of Gordonville who is president of the Lowndes County Water Authority. The water authorities who were invited but were not in attendance include Pintlala, White Hall, Fort Deposit, and Quint-Mar.

When water emergencies happen the county does not always have the resources or funding to fix it, Rudolph explained, though Lowndes county is able to borrow these resources from the state and/or surrounding counties if the proper documents and plans are in place.

Rudolph has mandated that the disaster preparedness specifications and response plan for each of the surrounding local water authorities, must be turned in to him at the Lowndes County Water Authority within the next 2-4 weeks. It is of utmost importance that these documents containing their emergency back-up plans be turned in within this time so the county can be qualified to receive the resources, funding, and equipment needed for an emergency.

Mayor Obruty Ozier said she was pleased that Mr. Rudolph called to have this meeting.

“It is so important if a disaster were to happen that the community does not go without,” shared Ozier. “We believe in helping one another. If something happens, all of the communities are involved and we want to be able to pitch in and do our part. I am very pleased with the new response plan, and am happy to be a part.”

The county was better prepared this time during the recent storms Rudolph explained. Generators were set in place for the water systems during the power shortages so no water outages occurred.

Rudolph wants the residents of Lowndes county to know officials are working hard, and will be pushing to put the response plan in place soon for their protection. He thanked those that came out to the meeting and shared their motto, “Prepare for the worst, and pray for the best.”