Mayor Reeves' letter to citizens of Plaquemine

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

Dear residents,

Hurricane Barry did not prove to be as big of a threat as anticipated, but it still required a tremendous effort to prepare for and handle. We are still cleaning up after the storm, but I wanted to take time to thank all the city workers who did an outstanding job during this emergency situation.

Only a handful of Plaquemine Water and Light customers lost power in the storm, and those who did lost it because of falling tree limbs cutting their power to their homes. This is a testament to the foresight and pro-active improvements started under the administration of Mayor Mark "Tony" Gulotta and continued in my administration. Those improvements have totaled over $4 million.

Utility Director Frank Mott, who is retiring at the end of July, has done a masterful job hardening the lines, conducting annual tree-trimming programs, and upgrading transformers and equipment for our electrical system. All of this has contributed to a more than an 80 percent reduction in outages, and certainly helped us in this severe weather.

Thanks to the electrical crew, the 11-man electrical crew called in from Kentucky, and the utility department workers, who worked diligently before, during and after the storm to keep all city services running. Thanks also to the Public Works crew, which worked extremely hard prior to the storm making sure drains, catch basins and ditches were clear. They were out during the storm clearing fallen tree limbs from roadways and ditches. Even now they are working hard on cleanup.

Thanks also to my Finance Director Laurie Berthelot, who oversaw activities to make sure the city met FEMA financial requirements for emergency spending. Thanks to all the city workers who cooked meals for some 50 workers and officials on duty and cleaned up at our Emergency Operations Center for three days.

Thanks to Plaquemine Fire Chief Darren Ramirez and the Plaquemine Fire Department for its efforts to respond to calls during the storm and assist where needed, and to Chief Administrative Officer Richard Alleman, who directed Public Works crews and handled numerous other activities.

Finally, thanks to Police Chief Kenny Payne and the Plaquemine Police Department, who worked closely with us to keep residents safe and answer calls through the storm.

All of these Plaquemine city workers truly came through for our residents in Hurricane Barry, working very long and stressful hours. They deserve both my thanks and residents' thanks for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Mayor Edwin “Ed” Reeves, Jr.