Ferriday took steps to publicize notice

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – Despite some complaints that town officials did not give timely notice of a boil water notice issued Friday, the town did take steps to notify residents, town officials said Wednesday.

Written boil water notices were sent home with Ferriday public school students Friday afternoon. Police were dispatched to place stacks of notices at businesses, said Assistant Police Chief Margaret Lawrence.

&uot;We got (notices) to as many people as we could as quickly as we could,&uot;&160;Lawrence said.

Email newsletter signup

The town sent the notice Friday afternoon to radio station KFNV-FM in Ferriday, Mayor Odeal Montgomery said. KPXS-FM in Natchez also reported receiving a public service announcement.

But the town’s announcements were not foolproof.

The town did send a public service message for CableComm to air on its public access station, channel 12, beginning Friday afternoon.

But that channel was not operating because lightning had struck the cable company’s equipment, said Manager Wanda Crane. As of Monday, the channel was once again airing messages, including the water notice.

Huntington School students did not receive the notice, said Headmaster Russ Green. And The Natchez Democrat did not receive a copy of the notice.

Some Ferriday residents who did not wish to be identified reported hearing of the boil water notice by word of mouth, although many did heard of the notice by Friday evening.

The state does not have set guidelines for how water systems are to notify their customers of boil water notices, officials of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said.

&uot;Unfortunately, that is sometimes hit or miss,&uot;&160;said Doug Vincent, chief engineer for the department’s Office of Public Health.

On Tuesday, the office issued its own boil water notice and delivered notices to its permitted businesses in Ferriday, including restaurants.