The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:
Alexandria, La. (February 19, 2021) — City of Alexandria officials are asking residents and area businesses to use as little water as possible until further notice as the city works to refill water tanks and restore water pressure.
“Power has been restored to all of our water wells, and we are generating three times the amount of water we normally generate daily, but it’s not enough to outpace demand like we need it to,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall. “We really need folks to eliminate their use of water until we can get the supply built back up. We need to do this not only to get water back in our homes, but to our hospitals and nursing facilities that have a critical need for water for patient care.”
Utility Director Michael Marcotte said part of the problem is leaks from broken pipes. “We believe we have some businesses that have been closed all week during the storm that have leaks and broken pipes and they don’t realize it because they haven’t been in their office,” he said. “We’re asking business owners and rental property owners to please check their sites for leaks and broken pipes and get those shut off immediately.”
Marcotte added that if a resident sees a water leak at a business or even a neighbor’s house they should report it immediately. “We need people to treat a water leak like they would a crime – if they see it, they need to call us at 318-473-1264 so we can come turn it off,” he said.
Until demand is reduced, Hall said a timeline can’t be set for restoration of water pressure. “We have to get to the point where we get ahead of demand, and right now we’re not there,” Hall said. “That is why it is so critical that everyone – homes and businesses – do everything they can to reduce their use of water so that we can get the tanks refilled.”
Residents are reminded the city-wide boil advisory issued Wednesday remains in effect. As water service is restored, residents are advised not to drink the water until they boil it, which includes bringing the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute.
“It will be up to the Department of Health as to how long the boil advisory remains in place,” Marcotte said. “Once the water pressure stabilizes we will start taking test samples and send them for testing to ensure water safety. Those tests can take 24-48 hoursif not longer. As was the case after Hurricane Laura, the boil advisory will remain in place until testing shows the water is safe for residents to drink.”
Road conditions throughout the city remain hazardous. Temperatures are expected to be below freezing again Friday night, which will allow for some refreezing overnight, so residents are asked to minimize travel.
Due to closure of the local transfer station and landfill through the weekend, household trash collection will resume normal schedule starting Monday. ATRANS bus service is also scheduled to resume normal operation Monday