MDEM Coordinates Deployment of 11 Local Utility Workers to Provide Mutual Aid to Jackson, MS
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Water and Anne Arundel County Employees Help Repair Water System Using National Emergency Management Assistance Compact
|REISTERSTOWN, MD (September 15, 2022) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) has helped to coordinate the deployment of utility workers from Maryland to assist with mitigating the water plant issues in Jackson, MS. The deployment was coordinated using the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a nationwide system that facilitates the sharing of resources between states during an emergency.
In all, 11 Maryland workers are assisting in Jackson, 7 from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission Water (WSSC Water) and 4 from the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works. The group includes Class A surface water and membrane operators, instrument technicians, licensed electricians, mechanics, general maintenance workers, and an emergency management specialist.
“Throughout our nation, states have never hesitated to support their counterparts when they are in times of crisis.” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “It is important that we continue to help other communities when they need it the most. I want to thank the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and Anne Arundel County for stepping up to the plate to help with what has become a humanitarian crisis in Jackson.”
Recent heavy rains caused the Pearl River to overflow its banks, causing serious flood damage in Jackson and disrupting the water distribution system in the city of about 150,000 residents. However, the city’s aging water infrastructure was having issues before the recent flood.
The team from Maryland joins utility specialists from other states and local workers to help repair the storm damage so the plant can again begin serving its residents. Those currently deployed will remain in Jackson until September 20, and the city, through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, may request additional EMAC resources to replace them.
The employees from WSSC Water include Brandon Brown, Sade Dunnock, Thomas Lilly, David McDonough, Stanley Pearson, James Price, and Zechary Windsor. The Anne Arundel employees are Philip Daley, Vincent-Dang Nguyen, Robert Swann, and Edwin “Chip” Yuniga.
EMAC, considered the all-hazards national mutual aid system, has been ratified by the U.S. Congress and is law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Through EMAC, states can share resources from all disciplines, protect personnel who deploy, and be reimbursed for mission-related costs. To learn more about EMAC, visit https://www.emacweb.org/