Response to Hurricane Katrina
Boil Drinking Water
EPA has conducted more than 2,600 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.
Teams continued to conduct assessments and removal activities in the areas of Diamondhead, Waveland and Pearlington. The teams had a very productive day recovering material from debris piles along streets where debris removal contractors were operating.
Division B – Harrison County, Miss.
Hazmat debris was removed in the D’Iberville area as well as areas between Gulfport and Pass Christian
Division C – Jackson County, Miss., and Baldwin and Mobile Counties, Ala.
Teams continued recovery of items in Baldwin County and Jackson County. These items are from previously reported items, debris collected at general debris staging areas, and by driving through areas where debris contractors are conducting debris removal operations.
An EPA mobile drinking water laboratory, stationed in Gulfport has processed more than 928 drinking water samples and continues to analyze new samples each day.
The Analytical Support Branch (ASB) has completed the chemical analyses on the Gulf Coast Water Quality Survey samples. Recently completed analyses are being submitted to Quality Assurance for review.
The Air Monitoring Support Team has collected 41 PM 2.5, 41 PM 10 and 28 asbestos samples. All Air data results will be coordinated with EPA’s Emergency Response Team . They also are operating three sites near large burn areas at the Harrison County Unified Command Center, Biloxi Fire Station and the Long Beach Fire Station (also in Harrison County).
All sediment sampling has been completed and personnel have returned to Athens, Ga.
Lift Station Operations
EPA contractors have completed 19 of 27 task orders, focusing primarily on temporary repairs to collection systems in the three-county region of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties). Repairs to pump stations have included the installation of temporary pumps and piping to transfer wastewater around the lift stations until permanent repairs can be made. The temporary installations require maintenance to pumps, motors, and generators until the permanent repairs are in place.