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City of Beaumont preparing for future storms, protecting city's water supply with pump station

During Tropical Storm Harvey, flood waters overpowered the current pump, so the city was left without water for days.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Beaumont leaders are using millions of dollars in federal funds to prepare for potential future storms and protect the city’s water supply.

City leaders signed off on a project that is expected to make the pump at Collier’s Ferry Park more weather-resistant. The goal is to elevate it, so it does not go underwater during potential future floods.

During Tropical Storm Harvey, floodwaters overpowered the current pump. The pump is the city’s main source of water, so the city was left without water for days.

Beaumont will receive about 90% of the $25 million from FEMA to put a 45 million gallon pump station at a higher elevation. The remainder will be covered by the city’s capital water fund.

Interim City Manager of Beaumont Christopher Boone believes the improvement is something the city desperately needs. Boone expects the improvement to diminish the worry the community has about history repeating itself.

“Turn the faucet on and it appears right and so, that's the way it should be," Boone said. "You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not it's going to work or not. That's the issue with hurricanes. We have been through many, many storms in the last twenty years."

Storms like Harvey make the changes to Collier's Ferry Pump mandatory. Harvey floodwaters reached heights of 19.5 feet, so officials plan to elevate pump height levels from 12 feet to 21 feet.

Bart Bartkowiak, director of public works for the City of Beaumont, agrees that the improvement is separately needed.

"A new water pump station a bit above where Collier's Ferry Park is, between that park and the cemetery, above the flood level of what Harvey was,” Bartkowiak said.

Officials believe the change will have additional bonuses.  

“In addition to adding resiliency to the water system, this will also add additional capacity as the city continues to grow," Boone said. "We will be able to provide ample water to make that happen."

The project is expected to take about two years to finish. Officials hope it will be completed by the fall of 2024.

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