City, county fire departments receive tents from Grand Gulf funds

Published 8:39 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018

Vicksburg and Warren County fire departments received a total of six tents to assist with serving evacuees from Claiborne County in the event of a potential nuclear accident at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station and to use during other events.

Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said the $9,200 to buy the tents came from Grand Gulf funds, money given to the county by Entergy under an agreement to provide training and equipment so “host counties” like Warren, Hinds, Copiah and Adams counties can be prepared for an emergency involving Grand Gulf.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

He said Claiborne County, which is the at-risk county under the agreement, also receives money. Elfer said part of the county’s Entergy money is used to pay for the county’s Code Red telephone warning system.

First response tool

He said the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires the county to demonstrate its ability to react to and support a mission to meet a threat from a release of radioactive dust from Grand Gulf.

“In an emergency, a portion of the Port Gibson and Claiborne County population would evacuate to Warren County, and some to Hinds, Copiah and Adams,” Elfer said. “Warren Central High School serves as our reception area.

“These tents were purchased to assist the fire departments in the county and the city in their mission to monitor and decontaminate, if needed, any of those people who were evacuated, but we’re also going to use them for other activities involving first response.”

Elfer said that would include any kind of fire, natural disaster, or community outreach programs where first responders or emergency management set up a booth.

Having the tents, he said, also helps the county’s relationship with MEMA and FEMA.

The city’s tents, which have the fire department’s logo, are kept at the city’s Number 3 Fire Station on Berryman Road. The county tents with the county EMA logo are kept at the Fisher Ferry Volunteer Fire Department station on Lee Road at the county’s radiological response trailer.

“These are custom made tents,” Elfer said. “They’re weather proof; we purchased the sides to go along with them and issued them to the city fire and county fire. We want to make sure that the folks out there doing the job have the right equipment they need.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John