Officials: Preparation saves Granite Shoals from severe damage; water safe to drink

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Beaver Island residents had to evacuate Oct. 16 due to rising water. File photo

Beaver Island residents had to evacuate Oct. 16 due to rising water. File photo

Granite Shoals City Manager Jeff Looney and Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith drove through their city Oct. 17 to see the damage done from floodwaters and rain Oct. 16.

The two said they hardly saw any.

“People are on their properties cleaning up and getting them in good working order,” Looney said.

They didn’t have final numbers from the flood shelter opened by First Baptist Church of Granite Shoals.

“Some people went to their houses, some were there through the night,” Smith said. “All the roads are clear, and everyone can go home today. No power was lost in Granite Shoals. We had no water issues. Everyone was very good at listening to police and following evacuation instructions.”

Residents had clean running water.

“We didn’t lose pressure in our system,” Looney said. “We’re pumping water. We don’t have to boil it.”

Only one residence had to be evacuated using the boat owned by the Granite Shoals Police Department.

“The water came up so quickly,” Smith said. “They walked in, and there wasn’t any way to walk out. The water was waist deep.”

Smith added that rising water on Beaver Island and Webb Isle and on north and south Sherwood on the lakefront properties forced first responders to go door to door to tell residents to leave.

More than 100 homes were impacted by rising Lake LBJ water. Some homes faced as low as 6 inches and others as high as 6 feet.

“I think (residents) were involved in trying to do what was needed in a crisis once they were made aware of the sensitivity of the situation,” she said.

The two noted loose watercraft are being collected by city staff members. Residents who are missing watercraft must have their registration numbers handy before calling the Granite Shoals Police Department at (830) 598-4818.

“It’s not enough to have a description or a picture of the craft,” Looney said.

Looney, who has been on the job for about a month, praised Smith, the streets and water departments, employees, and council members for their diligence in ensuring residents were able to ride out the rain and flood in safe places. He was especially thankful to the council for trusting the city employees to do what they were trained to do.

“Everybody working together to take care of Granite Shoals was exceptional,” he said. “The mayor (Carl Brugger) was kept apprised. They did the job by collecting information.”

To Smith, the fact that residents aren’t worrying about boiling water or loss of electricity speaks volumes about the planning.

“We’ve worked very hard to have plans of action and contingency plans,” she said. “This was an excellent representation of the hard work we did to prepare. We had a lot of rain. The lakes rose extremely fast, in less than an hour. We want to make things safe so people can get to their homes safely.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

2 Responses to “Officials: Preparation saves Granite Shoals from severe damage; water safe to drink”

  1. Bob McSweeney says:

    Just wanted say well done to all the departments in the city. We were able
    To stay home with no interruptions in our services.

  2. julieAnn Farmer says:

    I am super impressed by all the city services I able to see & hear of. I have property in MF and live in HSB – the help they are affording citizens is wonderful. “Feeling very lucky and prayers to all who are needing to restore & recover.

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