This morning, sleet and freezing rain steadily fell across the city and ice accumulation began. The City’s Water Distribution System has been strained and most of our customers are experiencing low to zero water pressure in which a decision was made to issue a boil advisory for the entire Natchitoches Water Distribution System. Shortly after noon, the City began receiving reports of electrical outages across the city as well and crews are currently being dispatched, assessing the damage and restoring power as quickly as possible. Precipitation is expected to end early this evening, but is expected to pick up again in the early morning hours of Thursday, Feb. 18.
Just like Hurricane Laura, natural weather events and their devastating impacts are hard to predict. This winter weather system has been no different. Law enforcement and emergency personnel have been working tirelessly over the last several days responding to emergency calls while the Utility Department prepared for what was to come. Today, utility crews are trying to meet the demand of our water system and attending to electrical outages wide spread. We are unable to provide our customers with estimation on power restoration at this time.
We also cannot promise that there will not be more power outages over the next 36 to 48 hours due to more freezing precipitation and temperatures below the freezing mark. We are asking the public to be patient as these conditions are dangerous for our crews and they are working safely and diligently to restore services to all our customers. If you see a downed power line, please report it to our emergency line at (318)357-3880 and stay away.
The public should be aware that the water pressure will remain low or possibly zero for several days. Please boil your water for one full minute before consuming. If you do have water at this time, please conserve it and be prepared to shut your water off if you experience leaking or burst pipes.
Mayor Ronnie Williams would like to notify the public that the offices of the City of Natchitoches will remain closed Thursday, Feb. 18 as the winter weather warning continues to be in effect for Natchitoches making travel conditions unsafe for our employees. Departments including Police, Fire, Utility, and Public Works continue to have personnel on hand in case there is a need for an emergency response. In the event of an emergency, please call 911. If you experience a power outage, water leak or broken pipe, please contact the City’s Utility Emergency Line at (318) 357-3880.
Waste Connections has notified the City garbage trucks will not run Thursday, Feb. 18. Trucks will resume their normal routes once road conditions improve.