Harvey aftermath: Urgent efforts underway to restore water for Texas residents

World Today

Harvey aftermath: Urgent efforts underway to restore water for Texas residents

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the U.S. state of Texas, the city of Beaumont is suffering from a major water shortage. Urgent efforts are underway to restore water to its residents.

CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez has the story.

Hurricane Harvey ravaged a water distribution area in the city of Beaumont, home to some 100,000 residents. Residents here are still coping with rising floodwaters which inundated the pumping station, leaving the city without running water for a second day.

“Never in my life have I seen it this bad. It’s been one of the worse,” said Frank Chretien, a resident of Beaumont, Texas.

There are long lines for those willing to wait. In addition to no drinking water, the scorching temperatures are just one more obstacle for flood victims.

“Because we are without running water, we have closed our shelters,” said Haley Murrow, a Public Information Officer of Beaumont county.   

Some of them went back to their homes. Those whose homes are still under water went to Dallas and San Antonio, hundreds of kilometers away.

Days after Harvey made landfall, this town saw a record 60 centimeters (approx. 2 feet) of rain. Nursing homes and hospitals were evacuated.

“The Neches River continues to rise. It is about seven feet above the record,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  “It will continue to remain at or near that high for about the next week.”

Even the largest U.S. refinery had to shut down. The storm flooded the plant located in nearby Port Arthur, cutting U.S. output by 600,000 barrels a day.  Officials say the refinery will not reopen until water recedes.