BURAS, La. (WGNO) — As people await the freshwater barges in Plaquemines Parish, staff at a Buras hotel and airport continue to stock up on bottled water to keep business afloat.
The community of Buras has been dealing with saltwater for months now because of the Gulf water entering the Mississippi River amid region-wide drought conditions.
“It’s very difficult to wash your hair, it’s very difficult on your skin, to shower, to take a bubble bath,” said Rosemary White, the marketing director for LeMatidora Inn.
According to White, the saltwater also affects their water pressure.
“So, trying to fill up a cup of water, you know, as opposed to standing there for 30 seconds, you’re standing there for three minutes, and I’m exaggerating a little bit but not by much,” White said.
The saltwater also remains a hurdle on a business level, which is why White has to makes frequent trips to the grocery for bottled water.
“It would be a lot more economical because we pay for our water services to use a cup of water from the sink, but we can’t do that, so we are upping our costs by providing our guests water,” White said.
White says this crisis should be a larger concern for Plaquemines Parish leaders and stakeholders.
“Most people don’t live in this area, obviously, to have it affect them, but when you think about the economics behind travel and tourism and how many people come to the State of Louisiana to be here, then it really hits home,” White said.
According to a spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers, they expect the freshwater barges to arrive along the river in Plaquemines Parish on Sunday, but it’s subject to change.