Parish without power

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 3, 2008

VIDALIA — All of Concordia Parish was out of electrical service in the wake of Hurricane Gustav Tuesday, and Ferriday was also left without water.

During a storm, the main transmission line in the parish was downed, Concordia Parish Emergency Director Morris White said.

“This morning we had zero power,” he said.

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Power was expected back on in most of the parish late Tuesday night.

Ferriday was left without water because the water plant did not have a generator to run the pump, and Concordia Waterworks could not provide enough pressure to keep water service in the town because they had only two wells running, but Ferriday Waterworks Director Gregory Griggs said that water service would be back up as soon as electricity was restored.

But Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin cautioned that the 4,000 water service customers should only use the water for cooking and bathing after boiling it first.

“After the water has been off this long, it’s not safe to drink it until we can flush the lines,” he said.

In Vidalia, Utilities Director Mark Morace said that tree limbs fell on several power lines and shorted them out, but that none of the lines actually broke.

In other places, the storm broke the cross pieces on the electrical poles and left the wires hanging low.

“We are currently in the process of putting up new poles and hanging the wire back up,” Morace said.

Approximately 90 percent of Vidalia’s utility customers should have service again once Entergy replaced the broken lines, Morace said.

The traffic control signals, which went down with the storm, should be back and operational once power is restored, Vidalia Street Department Director Lee Staggs said.

Vidalia residents were able to keep water service because the Vidalia water plant has a generator, Mayor Hyram Copeland said.