Ahead of salt water arrival, Gretna requests barges and bottles water

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 5:09 PM CDT
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GRETNA, La. (WVUE) - In response to the imminent arrival of saltwater in the area, officials in Gretna held an emergency council meeting on Thurs., Sept. 28, to strategize.

The saltwater wedge is projected to reach Gretna in approximately four weeks on Oct. 24.

Gretna is the only municipality in Jefferson Parish that supplies its own water. It draws about four million gallons a day.

Mayor Belinda Constant submitted a request through the Jefferson Parish Emergency Operations Center for water transportation via barges, as well as a request for bottled water assistance from GOHSEP (Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness) and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).

Additionally, Gretna is exploring the deployment of reverse osmosis machines from Lafayette as a contingency plan. The city has also taken steps to secure 18-wheelers to stockpile bottled water.

“We have options in place to ensure that our constituency does not have trouble finding clean water. But there’ll be maybe some days that are uncomfortable. Maybe there are days when we will have to cut back on usage. We talked about that today. Maybe there’ll be days when you won’t be drinking the water. You’ll be absolutely doing bottled water only,” Mayor Constant said.


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Jefferson Parish has offered to supply Gretna with up to two million gallons of water per day. However, Mayor Constant remains optimistic that the combined efforts, including barge deliveries and alternative water sources, will suffice to meet the city’s water needs.

City leaders are aiming to have all necessary arrangements and contracts finalized by the end of the upcoming week, allowing engineering teams to establish the connections required for water transportation.

“This is going to be an expensive process, I mean let’s just say that. It’s going to be an expensive process just like every emergency management situation we’ve dealt with,” Constant said.

On a positive note, Mayor Constant assured residents that Gretna Fest will proceed as planned without any disruptions.

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