BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker and Bossier City Council President David Montgomery held a news conference Monday afternoon to address the city’s response to water crisis caused by the week of severe winter weather in the ArkLaTex.
The news conference was held Monday, Feb. 22 at 2:45 p.m.
Mayor Walker started by thanking all of the city’s workers who have worked tirelessly to restore water pressure throughout the city. Walker says since Monday, Feb. 15, the city has been working to restore water pressure, which dropped about 30 PSI due to residents running their faucets to prevent freezing and numerous water breaks.
Walker says there were about 1,500 water service breaks, including a few main breaks, which increased demand for water about two and a half times. During the week, the city treated more than 30 millions gallons daily to supply around 80,000 people with water.
During the news conference, Walker said more than 100 employees worked round the clock for more than seven days while the city increased water production. That includes 20 crews of water professionals and members of the Bossier City Fire and Police departments, who responded to around 1,500 emergency water service requests to turn off people’s water to prevent damage to their property from leaks.
The mayor emphasized that the city did not at any point turn off water to any part of the city, but because pressure was so low, many people could not get the water.
He says the city’s water system sustained minimal damage.
As of Monday, Feb. 22, Walker says the city’s water system is back up to around 60 PSI. He says during the winter emergency, the city also worked to supply around three million gallons of water to Barksdale Air Force Base. The mayor says Bossier City also supplied nearly 100,000 gallons of water to critical care medical facilities in Shreveport.
Watch the full news conference below:
Mayor Walker says the city will continue to distribute bottled water to citizens in need at the civic center until supplies are exhausted.
Water samples have been collected and sent to a facility in Baton Rouge for testing. The mayor hopes to have those samples tested and returned by Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the earliest so the boil advisory can be lifted. He says normally, those samples would be sent to a facility in Shreveport, but they’re currently unable to do the testing because of a lack of water.
Bossier City Council President David Montgomery also spoke at the news conference, saying the council is committed to providing monetary resources to first responders and city utility departments. He encouraged the public to attend a city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. He says more updates on the city’s response will be provided then.
Mayor Walker also said he feels sure the city is prepared for upcoming rain and that flooding will not be an issue. He says the city is ready to respond if that changes, though.
They mayor also mentioned that the city has been working for a number of years to improve the water system, increase supply, and clean out storage tanks.