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South Mississippi Living 4/07

Friday, September 14, 2007

Well, well: 2 years after Katrina, FEMA OK's school water project

Posted on Fri, Sep. 14, 2007

The Associated Press

Construction will start next week for a new well that will provide running water to classroom trailers in Pass Christian schools.

"FEMA is a large, multi-fingered monster," Ronnie Storey, director of support services for the Pass Christian School District, told WLOX-TV in Biloxi.

On the second anniversary of Katrina, "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts - who grew up in Pass Christian - did an on-air interview with FEMA director David Paulison and asked about the well. Paulison assured her that action would be taken.

Since then, FEMA agreed to pay $309,000 for the project. Storey gives Roberts credit for speeding up the process.

"We had come a long way in the process, but she was probably the one who pushed the right button to tip it over," Storey said.

Pass Christian School Superintendent Sue Matheson and several of her students appeared on "Good Morning America" on Friday to thank Roberts for her help.

After Delisle Upper Elementary and Delisle Middle School were destroyed by Katrina, 55 trailers were installed on the elementary campus. Now, only three trailers have running water and serve as restrooms for the students and faculty. Twelve other trailers have sinks and toilets, but no water hookup.

The current well on the campus was only designed to handle one school. But with the addition of more than 700 students and teachers, the district needed another well that's bigger.

The new well will take about 90 days to build. It will provide water to 12 trailers and the future bus barn and transportation building.

Information from: WLOX-TV, and The Sun Herald,

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