BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Just a week and a half after David Guillory stepped in to the role of interim director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works, he had a hurricane on his hands. Looking back now he said there were more positives in the clean-up than negatives.
"I think we excelled at a lot. We worked very well with utility companies to get or help them get power restored," Guillory reflected.
But it wasn't completely smooth sailing, for some the biggest concern was still the length of time it took to get power up and restored. A problem some feel can be easily fixed.
"It’s time you know for Entergy to really start planning on how they're going to prevent power outages. And in my opinion I think the way to go is to start burying the lines. And I think they need to start coming up with a plan to start doing that,” Sam Irwin, a resident of the parish, commented.
"It’s really something that we're going to have to talk to Entergy and Demco about, but it's a money thing. And we've had this conversation before and they're absolutely willing to talk about it,” Guillory said.
Those in the crowd weren't the only ones with concerns about the clean-up. Guillory says he has some of his own about the length of time it took some areas to see debris cleared from sidewalks and roadways. Something he's vowing the department is looking to fix.
"We actually set a 45 day timeline to collect debris. We did it in just over 30. But there were small streets and pockets and neighborhoods that were missed, that we went back and got. And we're working with the GIS mapping group next time to make sure we don't miss anybody and we get to the debris a lot faster,” Guillory explained.
Guillory said the two power companies are slowly making the move to underground power lines, but it will take quite a bit of time before the entire City-Parish could see all underground lines.