Atlanta COO: Recent water main breaks prompt improved city communication plan

Atlanta’s Chief Operating Officer LaChandra Butler Burks talks about the lessons learned from the city's water main breaks and how city leaders will move forward. She joined "Closer Look with Rose Scott" on Friday, June 7th, 2024. (Photo left courtesy of LaChandra Butler Burks; photo right by Matthew Pearson/WABE)

Within the first few weeks of LaChandra Butler Burks taking the role of Atlanta’s chief operating officer, she faced her first major challenge – last weekend’s water main breaks.

The problem left thousands of area residents without drinkable water for several days, plus revenue losses for local businesses.

City officials faced criticism about their communication during the turmoil. Burks joined Friday’s “Closer Look” and told show host Rose Scott that the situation taught city leaders about the need for better communication practices.

Burks also mentioned she’s in communication with U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, and U.S. Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia. She said they’re making sure Atlanta is getting the resources and assistance it needs to address its infrastructure problem.