Response to Hurricane Katrina
Boil Drinking Water
10/08/05 - 10/11/05
EPA has conducted more than 2,500 incident responses since deploying emergency response personnel following the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina along the Mississippi and Alabama coastline. An incident response is defined as an investigation of a National Response Center Report, contacting facilities, and reporting hazmat debris while conducting land or water assessment in the affected areas.
Assessment and Removal Team Activity
EPA is operating under three divisions that were formed to address Hancock (Division A), Harrison (Division B), and Jackson, MS and Mobile and Baldwin, AL (Division C) counties, which are the most affected areas along the coast. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is serving as liaison between EPA and the three divisions. Coastal MS experienced storm surge flooding of 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels and significant rainfall amounts during Hurricane Katrina.
Division A – Hancock County, Miss.
Assessment and removal activities continued in the Waveland and Bay St. Louis areas. The team has recovered 10 aerosol cans, a .5-gallon container or muriatic acid, 5 1-quart can of pesticide/herbicide, seven containers of motor oil, eight one-gallon paint cans, five 1-gallon containers of antifreeze, one gas can, one 5-gallon container of grease/lube, one 5-gallon paint bucket, 15 20-pound LP cylinders and 14 miscellaneous containers.
Assessment and removal activities were also conducted in Pearlington. The team recovered 18 aerosol cans, two car batteries, seven 1-gallon paint cans, three gas cans, four 5-pound LP tanks, seven 5-gallon buckets of random materials, a 55-gallon drum, two 90-pound compressed gas cylinders and nine miscellaneous containers.
Both teams conducted assessment and removal activities along waterways in the Bay St. Louis.
Division B – Harrison County, Miss.
Three teams were deployed to observe debris removal operations and remove previously located items. Areas surveyed included D’Iberville, Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, and Pass Christian ( Harrison County, Miss.). A rapid assessment team was also cued for response to calls and situations.
A team in Biloxi removed two 55-gallon drums, two tanks north of the Tchoutacabouffa River, and an empty 300-gallon oil tank.
Another teams operating in the Gulfport area removed 11 5-gallon Freon tanks, four 55-gallon steel drums, two 5-gallon propane tanks, a 5-gallon poly bucket of lubricating oil, four 1-gallon paint cans, and two propane tanks.
A team continued observing debris removal operations in Pass Christian and Long Beach. They have recovered a 10-gallon poly drum, one 2-gallon poly container, two 1-gallon poly bottles, a 1-gallon propane tanks, a 1-gallon paint can, and several 5-gallon buckets.
Assessment operations were conducted along the beaches in west Gulfport. The team looked for hazmat items separated from debris and checked open items.
Division C – Jackson County, Miss., and Baldwin and Mobile Counties, Ala.
Two teams conducted an assessment of the flood surge line in Bayou La Batre. During the assessment four 55-gallon drums, five 1-gallon paint cans, a compresses gas cylinder and one LP tank were removed.
In Gautier, Miss., a team conducted assessments and recovered three 55-gallon drums, two 1-gallon containers, a 150-pound butane cylinder, one 5-gallon container and a 500-gallon above ground storage tank. The team also traveled to Alabama to investigate a report of 55-gallon drums. Two of the drums were previously removed, while the other two were inaccessible requiring a boat to remove them.
An EPA mobile drinking water laboratory, stationed in Gulfport to assist the MS Department of Health with analysis of drinking water samples, was restarted. The lab has processed more than 895 drinking water samples and continues to analyze new samples each day.
The Air Monitoring Support Team has collected 32 PM 2.5, 32 PM 10 and 28 asbestos samples. All Air data results will be coordinated with EPA’s Emergency Response Team. They have assessed several debris burn sites and obtained permission to sample at five of the larger sites that are near populated areas.
All sediment sampling has been completed and personnel have returned to Athens, Ga.