PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - The City of Palestine is notifying residents that there is no water available for home use or drinking after the city’s Water Treatment Plant was damaged in Thursday morning’s storms. Water is being distributed at the Palestine mall beginning Thursday at 7 p.m., located at 2000 S. Loop 256. More water will be available starting at 9:00 a.m. Friday. No proof of residency is required to pick up a box containing three gallons of water.
“There is no water available for home use or for drinking. If you still have water you must boil at least three minutes before drinking,” the city said in a Thursday afternoon news release.
Palestine City Manager Michael Hornes said that electricity went out at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, which caused the main city water plant to stop working. It could no longer distribute water to the other plants in the city. This caused water levels to go too low, he said. Oncor and electricians are at the plant working on it now.
“We’ll update the community throughout the day tomorrow as we take tons of samples for TCEQ for safety’s sake, so for now, boil water notices remain in place even when the water comes back on,” Hornes said.
He said that it should not be an issue through the Easter weekend, and that everyone should stay calm and know that they are working to make sure everyone has what they need. Updates will be released along the way, he said.
While they work to get water restored, Walmart and Brookshires are providing water for the city’s people. Walmart has an 18-wheeler full of water in the mall parking lot Thursday evening, and Brookshires is sending water from its Tyler plant down to Palestine, which should arrive around 7:30 p.m. Hornes said they will remain on scene until they run out of water.
Earlier in the day Palestine Independent School District closed campuses at 2 p.m. due to the outage and city officials asked residents to conserve water.
Porta-potties have been set up at multiple locations, including:
- Reagan Park
- Willie Myers Park
- City Hall parking lot
- Civic Center
- 3215 W. Oak
- 611 Avenue A (Fire Station 1)
- 107 7th Street (Fire Station 2)
- 518 Benbrook (Fire Station 3)
Drinking water is set to be provided later in the evening on a limited basis per household, the release stated. Residents will be notified once water is available.
“We will continue to work throughout the night and in the morning until services are restored. We will provide updates via social media, news outlets and our Code Red system. We appreciate your patience as we work to get everything restored,” the city said.
Residents are encouraged to look after the young and the elderly.
Strong storms moved through the area overnight, downing trees and power lines across East Texas.
To report downed trees, contact Public Works at (903) 731-8423 or (903) 731-8400.
A compost facility has been opened until 7 p.m. for residents to drop off debris free of charge. The facility is on Spring Street, between Palestine Avenue and the Loop.