LaFayette turns crisis into a blessing for West Point
Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023
In the midst of their own water crisis last week, the city of LaFayette sent a truckload of bottled water to West Point’s storm victims.
“We just wanted to do something and just to help out since so many people extended their time and gave us a helping hand,” said LaFayette Mayor Kenneth Vines. “So many organizations and so many groups reached out to us, and we just wanted to turn around and do likewise.”
Vines reached out to West Point Mayor Steve Tramell to offer more water to the city.
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“We still have at least 19 pallets, and I wanted to donate a pallet or two to West Point, but I have not contacted the [West Point] mayor,” Vines said.
The city council members, Vines, City Clerk Louis Davidson and Volunteers Adrian Holloway and Norma Williams delivered water to victims as well as the GEMA site to be further distributed.
The water bottles were donated by dozens of organizations throughout LaFayette and surrounding areas. The city held a water giveaway on Thursday for its citizens, and each household got two cases of bottled water.
“We did have some of the churches down in the Valley area come to help distribute out the water,” Vines said. “That’s very important that you have good communication and a good working relationship with your surrounding cities just in case of an emergency.”
Even after all the water cases were passed out, LaFayette had extra on hand.
“We had more than we needed,” Vines said. “It was an overflow of blessings … So many people responded so quick that we looked up, and there were trucks coming from all different directions.”
By Friday, the city had found a temporary fix to bring water supply back to its citizens. Some households in West Point weren’t so lucky after the tornado destroyed their homes.
“Some of the people over in the West Point area and LaGrange … We were just out of water a few days, but we’re talking about homes destroyed and families displaced, you know, because of it,” Vines said.
In the next week, the city leaders will gather to make a decision on what to do with the remaining water.
For now, there are no updates on the permanent repairs of the city’s water supply pipe. The water has been tested by ADEM and is approved for consumption.
“We’re monitoring everything, and right now, so far, so good,” Vines said. “We haven’t had any issues right now.”
The repairs will take some time, but the mayor is grateful to the city council, city clerk, 911 center and citizens for their response to the crisis.
“I just want to give a very special thanks to the citizens of LaFayette for being so patient with us when this happened. No one complained, and we are thankful for that. I’d also like to thank the council for reacting so quick on the situation, and the city clerk, and the 911 center,” Vines said. “Everybody just responded so quick, and I’m just thankful for that.”