Reclamation Continues to Mobilize Response for Hurricane Katrina Disaster

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, 303-445-3615
Trudy Harlow, 202-513-0574

For Release: September 02, 2005

The Bureau of Reclamation continues to mobilize equipment and staff to respond to the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina. Reclamation's response is being coordinated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Department of the Interior.

To direct the bureau's response to this disaster, Reclamation Commissioner John Keys has cancelled a business trip to the Colorado River area and is returning immediately to Washington, D.C.

Reclamation is deploying the Expeditionary Unit for Water Purification to the Pascagoula, Miss., area to provide treated drinking water in support of the U.S. Public Health Service. The U.S. Navy has an identical unit, which will be deployed to the Bay St. Louis, Miss., area.

These portable units were designed to purify contaminated and saline waters to better-than- EPA drinking water standards. Depending on the original quality of the water, each unit can produce 100,000 to 200,000 gallons per day.

In addition, Reclamation is finalizing an inventory of specialized equipment that will be available to deploy to the disaster area as requested.

Reclamation employees also are preparing to deploy to the disaster area. These highly skilled employees will provide quality assurance and quality control for debris removal and temporary roofing missions. The deployment will probably occur within seven to fourteen days and last at least 30 days, with additional deployments in the future. Additional employees with special skills are being identified and will be made available when requested.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.