Clancy DuBos / Political Analyst
One of the lessons we all learned from Hurricane Isaac is the importance of timely and accurate communication during an emergency. Entergy New Orleans was roundly criticized for failing to adequately communicate with the public about power outages during and after the storm.
Now, just five weeks later, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board is learning the same lesson. Monday morning around 8:30 the city’s water purification plant lost power — for less than three minutes. That’s not much time, but apparently it could have been enough time for bacteria to enter the city’s water supply.
So why did officials at the Sewerage and Water Board wait more than four hours to issue a boil water advisory?
Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to get warnings out quickly — and no excuses for failing to do so. The city, in fact, has an excellent emergency notification system — NolaReady — and it worked beautifully during Hurricane Isaac. Water board officials should have used it Monday — right away.
Fortunately, the local water system was uncompromised. The advisory was lifted this afternoon. But going forward, the folks who keep our water safe should also keep us better informed.
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