The entire city of Beaumont, Texas, has lost access to clean water
Beaumont, Texas, has lost access to its clean water supply because of rising flood waters from tropical storm Harvey, the city's police department confirmed early Thursday.
In a statement, the Beaumont Police Department said it lost power at its main pump station along the Neches River and from its secondary source of well water in an adjacent county.
This city of nearly 120,000 residents sits near the Texas Gulf Coast about 30 miles west of the the Louisiana border. Harvey dumped 29 inches of rain in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area Tuesday, making it among the areas hardest hit by the storm.
Photos the department posted on its Facebook page showed much of the main pump station, which provides 70 percent of the city's water, under floodwaters.
There is no timeline for water to be restored. The police department said it has to wait until water levels recede before it can determine the extent of the damage and make any needed repairs.
The loss of the city's water is also affecting Beaumont Fire Department. Captain Brad Pennison described the situation to local 12 News Now as unprecedented, saying they may ask for additional water tankers from the State of Texas to have on standby.
"We are taking on and tackling all of these things that are arising that have never happened before," Beaumont Police Department spokeswoman Carol Riley said in a news conference addressing the city's storm relief efforts Thursday. "Our team is on it. It may take a little bit, but it's happening."
The city is encouraging residents to turn off water pipes and boil any water for personal use while the water supply is down. It also warned that no local facilities can provide patients dialysis treatment because of the water loss.
The Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas have begun transferring patients due to the failed water pump. They said in a statement released on Facebook, "we have no other alternative but to discontinue all services which will include emergency services. This is being done immediately."
The police department also encouraged those looking for ways to help the city's residents to give to nonprofit organizations operating in the region.