State of emergency issued after Water pumps fail in Clayton

Published 1:15 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017


VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish Police Jury placed the town of Clayton under a state of emergency Monday after two pumps failed leaving approximately 800 residents without water.

“We’re concerned about the city of Clayton and their water supply,” Police Jury President Jimmy Wilkinson said. “They have no water to drink or bathe or cook.”

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Wilkinson said the state sent three pallets of bottled drinking water to be distributed to residents by the Clayton Fire Department Tuesday.

Wilkinson said contractors purchased parts for the pumps Tuesday and hoped to have the wells working by Wednesday night.

Even if the wells are fully functional by Wednesday evening, however, Wilkinson said it would take several hours for the pumps to refill water tanks for the town, meaning water may not be available to residents until Thursday morning.

Once the pumps are fixed Wilkinson said residents would still need to boil water for the foreseeable future.

Juror Whest Shirley said though the break would not affect any schools in the Concordia Parish School District, the Concordia Head Start in Clayton would be closed on Wednesday.

Shirley said the childcare facility should reopen Thursday morning if the pumps are fixed and the water service resumes.

Wilkinson said he heard about the first well breaking at approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday night but at the time workers did not believe the problem to be serious.

When the second pump broke, however, Wilkinson said he knew he would have to declare a state of emergency for the town.

“It gives us the opportunity to ask for help from the state,” he said.

Wilkinson said the police jury would continue to provide water for cooking and drinking to residents until the pumps have been fixed.