Souderes: Natchez ready for Y2K

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 15, 1999

Natchez-Adams County is prepared for Y2K, according to area Civil Defense Director Georges Souderes.

&uot;We’ve been dealing with Y2K since Jan. 1, and I don’t look for a lot to happen in Natchez-Adams County,&uot; Souderes said Monday at a community-wide Y2K meeting.

&uot;As far as I can tell you, we’ve checked computers, talked with people and we’re ready,&uot; Souderes said. &uot;We’ve got our plan.&uot;

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When community computer and operating systems roll into the year 2000, critical systems should remain operational, representatives from major utilities said.

&uot;Over the past four years, we’ve tested voice and data networks,&uot; said Pat Howard, representative for BellSouth.

&uot;We’re ready,&uot; Howard said, &uot;but don’t everybody pick up the phone at midnight on the 31st to be sure they work.&uot;

Howard said the phone companies main concern regarding Y2K is that customers’ curiosity over whether phone services are still working will lead them all to pick up their phones and overload the system.

&uot;It would be like Mother’s Day is every year,&uot; she said. &uot;Don’t assume all problems are Y2K related.&uot;

Souderes echoed that warning.

&uot;When our phone lines get overloaded, it takes a whole for the phone system to recoup,&uot; he said.

The 911 emergency phone system has been checked and is 100 percent ready, Howard said.

&uot;Everyone is afraid the 911 service will fail,&uot; Souderes said. &uot;I don’t think that’s going to happen.&uot;

Virginia Salmon, president of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, represented the board at the Monday’s meeting.

&uot;Adams County is ready as far as we can be ready,&uot; Salmon said. &uot;Our computer system in the county is a new one and is Y2K compliant.&uot;

Arrangements have been made with suppliers of fuel, energy, water and other utilities for emergency supplies in the event of breakdowns, Souderes said.

Don Hughes with Buffalo Services said his company is prepared to made available 12,000 gallons of fuel for emergency services vehicles for the new year.

Percy McCoo of Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association said his company has been working on Y2K for two years and is compliant. Redundant systems have also been planned, including mechanical systems to bypass computers if needed.

Gary Valentine with the City of Natchez said that city computers have been tested by running for a full week in the year 2000.

&uot;And we saw no problems,&uot; Valentine said.