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City of Gladewater renovating infrastructure affected by 2021 snowstorm

Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 4:18 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2022 at 8:24 PM CDT
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GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - Many East Texas cities continue to feel the lasting effects of the great snowstorm of February 2021 on their infrastructure.

Gladewater is one of those cities and is now taking steps to renovate their aging water treatment facility.

After ‘Snowmaggedon,’ numerous cities experienced broken pipes from the extended freeze, causing loss of water pressure and boil water notices.

“When you add 6 inches of ice on top of it for 9 and 10 days, it just got too cold for it to push that through there. We’re like everybody else in East Texas. We’re running a system originally built 60 to 70 years ago or 80 years ago,” said Gladewater City Manager Ricky Tow.

Extremes in weather conditions, hard freezes, storms, and aging infrastructure, have made this a problem for almost every East Texas city.

The Gladewater City Council has allocated around $100,000 for engineers to begin the redesign process.

“We took the first step to engage our engineering SPI’s to start the engineering process on identifying some work to be enhanced at the plant,” Tow said.

However, new federal guidelines on water and power are another challenge East Texas cities will have to take into account.

“The federal government has slid down emergency management procedures they want all utilities to go through. Used to be 24-to 72-hours was the norm for a power outage. So they’re looking at us to have resources on hand to have power to all our locations for six and seven days, and that changes everything,” the city manager said.

They also hope that they won’t fail in the future.

“Keep Snomaggedon from possibly happening again,” Tow said.

Tow said estimates to renovate and improve its current water treatment facility look to be around $700,000, and the city has filed for funding for emergency generators.

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