"Beaumont loses water supply after flooding from Harvey" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
The city of Beaumont announced early Thursday morning that it had lost its water supply due to rising flood waters from Harvey.
The outage was caused by flooding near a pump station located along the Neches River, officials said in a statement Thursday morning. The city — home to roughly 120,000 people in Southeast Texas — also lost its secondary water source at the Loeb Wells.
"Under these circumstances, the City of Beaumont anticipates it will lose water pressure throughout the city within the next three to four hours," the city posted in a statement at 12:30 a.m., early Thursday morning.
The military is working to get clean drinking water to Beaumont residents, according to NPR.
Carol Riley, a public information officer for the city's office of emergency management, told The Texas Tribune that as of Thursday morning, around 2,000 people were in shelters and a couple hundred more in churches, school gymnasiums or at the Beaumont Civic Center.
Everyone in city-run shelters, she said, is being either "sent to a permanent shelter or back to their homes if they can stay there. Riley said she didn't know what the current status of relocation numbers and that shelters were set to close once they were emptied out.
"What we're doing is taking people from temporary shelters and getting permanent shelters for the ones who need it," she said. "There are a lot of people who just got really scared and had only a minimum amount of water in their homes, but wanted to be out of harm's way. ... There are others whose homes were destroyed and they have to have more permanent types of shelter."
Mandatory evacuations are being performed in the area, and the Beaumont Enterprise reported Thursday that the city’s civic center was closing due to weather and being filled to capacity.
“We will have to wait until the water levels from this historical flood recede before we can determine the extent of damage and make any needed repairs," a statement posted Thursday by the city of Beaumont reads. "There is no way to determine how long this will take at this time."
In a Facebook post, Beaumont Fire Rescue said that the city is working to restore the water supply “as soon as possible.” They recommended that residents shut down their water heating systems during the outage.
On Wednesday, the Louisiana National Guard flew into Beaumont and Port Arthur, roughly 30 miles away, with medical aid and supplies for the area hospitals.
Giulia Afiune contributed to this report.