Water isn’t a concern in Marengo

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 21, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – Kevin McKinney of the Marengo County Emergency Management Agency wants to set the record straight.

“I’ve had a lot of calls and I just want to clarify a few things,” he said.

McKinney said many residents have been calling for ice and water, and while the agency will have ice available soon, water is available now through residents’ home faucets.

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“For some reason people think the water is bad and not drinkable,” he said. “But the water is fine. I think what happened is other counties may have had some systems go bad, and one person would call their friend or coworker and it just kind of spread that the water was bad.”

McKinney said the only plant in this area that lost power was the Pine Hill plant, and it did not lose water. So, McKinney said, the water is fine.

“Just drink it,” he said.

Another subject that has been very hot at his office is the topic of disaster relief.

McKinney said a FEMA team will be here this week to assess the damage.

“They will be doing a ride through looking at the damage and those people who have called will get a ride by, but they probably will not stop and talk or interview at this time,” he said.

He said that was the first step, but did not guarantee assistance and would not mean assistance right away.

“That team goes back and compiles the information and determines whether it meets the threshold of disaster relief,” McKinney said. “Then another team will come in to handle individual claims payments or disbursements.”

Part of the problem, McKinney said, is in the perception of residents as far as the cleanup and recovery after the hurricane.

“So many areas are still in recovery, but we’re ahead of that,” he said. “We didn’t get hit as hard and everyone has worked so hard to get cleaned up. As a state we’re not to that point yet.”

On a side note, McKinney said Georgia Pacific loaned generators to local fire departments for people who still are without power. He said the generators are loaned to homes without power to power the refrigerator, freezer and other necessities for a few hours, and then are rotated to another household in need.

He said anyone interested needs to call their local fire department.