DONALDSONVILLE — City Council members discussed numerous concerns affecting Donaldsonville that following Hurricane Isaac’s high winds, rain and storm surge flooding.
Councilman Charles Brown Sr. cited during Tuesday night’s council meeting hurricane-related issues involving lack of communication between city officials and providers of electrical power and water service.
Donaldsonville’s water service is provided by the privately owned People’s Water Co. and Entergy supplies electrical power to the city.
Brown suggested the city establish an emergency management center to operate during future events such as Isaac.
He suggested that such a center should include representatives from utility providers. He said all council members also need to help with damage surveys of the entire city during storm events.
“We need to look the city as a whole and see what needs to be addressed,” he said. “There were some areas where we didn’t even know the lighting was out. Once we got our lights on, we were gone.”
An American Red Cross shelter at Donaldsonville High School had to try to cope with such problems as lack of advertisement, not having a backup generator and a lack of volunteer staffing, Brown said.
“We need to do better for our community,” he said. “It needs to be done all year long, not just during the storm.”
Parish government began its storm debris cleanup process Monday, Parish Westside Coordinator George Rodeillat said.
Rodeillat told the council that initial reports showed less damage occurred from the storm on the west bank than on the parish’s east bank.
“It’s basically the reverse of what happened with Hurricane Gustav,” he said.
Prior to Isaac’s landfall on Aug. 28, the city had approved an intergovernmental agreement with Ascension Parish government for debris removal and monitoring, Council Chairman Raymond Aucoin said.
A public drop-off point for vegetative debris has been activated at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center on St. Landry Road in Gonzales, he added. The site is open to parish residents only, and contractors may not use the site.
Rodeillat said that residents can monitor the parish government website, http://www.ascensionparish.net, for updated schedules and information concerning debris removal.