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Galveston Water Failure

Thousands of homes and businesses in Galveston lost their water today because of an electrical fire at one of Galveston’s water pump stations. City officials blame the fire on damage caused by Hurricane Ike, almost a year ago. Jim Bell explains.



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“The electrical failure at the pump station affects the area roughly from Moody Gardens and 81st Street west to the western end of the island. It’s about two-thirds of the island. “

That’s Galveston Deputy City Manager Brandon Wade, who estimates about five thousand residents and businesses lost their water. He says the problem that led to the fire started when Hurricane Ike flooded the Airport Pump Station 11 months ago.

“And unfortunately, FEMA does not recognize that the wiring will deteriorate under those circumstances, and we’ve been working with them, but their policy thus far has been to wait until a system fails before they will authorize the repair of it.”

And that’s what happened today. The Galveston City Council called an emergency session to approve spending up to 100 thousand dollars to make emergency repairs, to tell FEMA the station has failed and please send more money. Wade says it’ll take weeks and as much as a quarter of a million dollars to do what’s needed.  Portable generators will keep the station pumping till the work is done.

“At this particular point we should be having some generators installed, and it’s about a megawatt worth of generators that we having to have put in.” 

Wade says even if water is running again in the affected area, people should still boil their water until the city can test it to make sure it’s safe to drink.  Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

For more information, view the Official Site of the City of Galveston Web site.