Mayor will testify on Capitol Hill

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2005

As Congress begins looking into Hurricane Katrina, BrookhavenMayor Bob Massengill has been invited to appear before a Senatepanel in Washington.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committeeis investigating the preparation, response and recovery surroundingthe Aug. 29 hurricane. Friday’s hearing is expected to focus onresidents who were displaced by the hurricane and how communitiesresponded to their needs.

Massengill said he is excited about the trip.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It ought to be an interesting experience,” Massengill saidduring Tuesday’s board meeting.

The mayor is expected to speak about 10 minutes and then fieldquestions from committee members. It is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.CDT.

Massengill said the testimony will be a “real good opportunity”to tell how Brookhaven and Lincoln County responded to the disasterand also to talk about some of the problems the communityexperienced. Between those staying at Red Cross shelters and inindividual homes, officials have estimated several thousand peoplecame to Brookhaven after the hurricane.

“We were inconvenienced, but we opened up our churches, heartsand finances to those in need,” Massengill said. “It makes youproud to live here.”

While in Washington, Massengill also hopes to make a pitch forfederal assistance with new generators for the city waterdepartment. After nursing the generators to keep city waterservices going after the storm, water department officials said newequipment is needed.

“We’re going to begin laying that groundwork,” Massengill said,adding he also wants to push for help with infrastructure for a newbusiness park.