Following two consecutive years of devastating floods in Bossier Parish, the police jury has adopted a proactive stance to help parish residents be prepared in the event of rising waters in the future.
Workers are currently loading sandbags into six large storage containers that have been strategically placed at five locations throughout the parish. Each container will hold approximately 3,500 sandbags to help parish residents take action quickly, if necessary.
“I was attending an OPAO (Organization of Parish Administrative Officials) conference in south Louisiana and one of the speakers was talking about storing sandbags in different locations,” said Parish Administrator Bill Altimus. “I remember thinking that was a very good idea so I wrote it down.”
Altimus presented the idea to the police jury and members unanimously approved the purchase of six large shipping containers. Those were refurbished, repainted and delivered to locations that would be convenient to residents throughout the parish.
“These are shipping containers that are waterproof and conducive to storing items for the long term,” he said. “We wanted to get a head start in case of an event that would require sandbags and the units are conveniently located for our people. This helps us be better prepared in case of emergencies.”
Altimus said the bins will be locked, but officials will be on notice to help individuals get the sandbags they need.
Storage sites and contact persons are:
- Police Jury Highway Department Maintenance facility, 410 Mayfield St., Benton. Contact Mark Coutee, 965-3752. Two containers are at this location.
- South Bossier Fire District #2, 3551 Hwy 527, Elm Grove. Chief Kenny Tyson at 987-2555. One container.
- Haughton Fire District #1, 4494 Hwy 80, Haughton. Chief Robert Roe at 949-9440.
- Town of Plain Dealing, 205 W. Palmetto. Contact information to be provided. One container.
- Town of Haughton, 120 W. Mckinley Ave, Mayor Jack Hicks at 949-9401. One container.