Caddo Parish Commission holds special meeting to address winter storm response

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CADDO PARISH, Louisiana (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo Parish Commissioners held a special meeting Monday to talk about the aftermath of last month’s winter storms and ways to be better prepared if it happens again.

The winter storms impacted thousands in the ArkLaTex, leaving many without water or electricity.

“One of the biggest challenges we face that we are going to address in our after-action review is, what public works stated: We are going to try to add a four-wheel drive to our inventory and additional water resources for water shortage,” Caddo Director of Facilities & Maintenance Kevin Lawrence told the commission. Lawrence said those changes would allow city work crews to travel through harsh conditions and make repairs without getting stuck.

Some people were asking during the meeting why area water towers weren’t used.

“Those towers are primarily used to pressurize your system, throughout the community distribution network. They are not for water distribution,” Parish Administrator Dr. Woody Wilson explained.

Keith Bryant and Tommy Giles volunteered to feed people and plowed snow during the storms.

“We did it because we love our parish. We did it because we love our people,” Bryant said.

But Giles told the commission they heard a common question while they were out helping their neighbors.

“Initially when we started, we started clearing streets off and things like that. The first question that we heard the most on any Facebook message that we ever did was, ‘Where is the city or the parish?”

“You know it takes some time to get their assets into the community,” said Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Direct Robert Jump.” For the first 72 hours for us, we can’t rely on outside resources. We should be planning and stockpiling to have something in place for our citizens.”

Monday’s special meeting was the first of several steps the commission plans to take in order to define and clarify the problems exposed by the winter storms.

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