Emergency Declaration Regarding Saltwater Intrusion
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
STATE OF EMERGENCY – SEPTEMBER 25, 2023.
Declaring a state of emergency within and throughout the City of Gretna, as a result of Mississippi River saltwater intrusion, which has created an imminent threat of emergency conditions that threaten the lives and property of the citizens of this City.
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, LA R.S. 29:721 et seq., confers upon the Parish President powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or manmade causes, in order to ensure that preparations of this City will be adequate to respond to such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the lives and property of the people of Jefferson Parish and the City of Gretna; and
WHEREAS, LA R.S. 29:727(D)(1) confers upon the Parish President powers to declare a local disaster or emergency, which shall continue until the threat of danger has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist, but no state of emergency may continue for longer than thirty days unless extended by the Parish President and no continuous state of emergency may continue beyond ninety days unless approved by the parish governing authority; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi River serves as the source of water for the City of Gretna Water Department water treatment facilities; and the extraordinarily low river levels and the resulting slower flow rates have allowed for saltwater to intrude upstream, which has reached the water intakes of neighboring Plaquemines Parish; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has constructed a saltwater barrier sill in effort to combat the saltwater intrusion and the resulting negative impacts to drinking water supplies; and
WHEREAS, despite these efforts, persistent unfavorable river conditions are expected to allow the saltwater intrusion to continue to advance upstream and to begin negatively impacting the City of Gretna’s water supply; and
WHEREAS, to timely and effectively manage the challenges presented by the emergency, it is necessary to immediately effectuate measures to detect, prevent, prepare for, investigate, respond to, or recover from the emergency, and generally to preserve the lives and property of the people of the City of Gretna.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BELINDA C. CONSTANT, Mayor of the City of Gretna, Louisiana, by virtue of authority vested by the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: Pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, LA R.S. 29:721 et seq., the City of Gretna concurs with Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng declaration of a state of emergency within and throughout the Parish of Jefferson and the City of Gretna as a result of the Mississippi River saltwater intrusion, which has created an imminent threat of emergency conditions that threaten the lives and property of the citizens of the City.
SECTION 2: This proclamation shall be effective upon signature and shall remain in effect from September 25, 2023, to October 25, 2023, unless terminated or extended.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand,
officially on the 25th day of September 2023.
/S/ BELINDA C. CONSTANT
CITY OF GRETNA
STATE OF LOUISIANA