Even though the thermometer has climbed back to more seasonable temperatures, Henryetta city crews are still trying to recover from the problems generated by the arctic blast that shut down the state.
Wednesday afternoon, city public works director Ron Casey told Rotary club members at the height of the cold snap water use outstripped production capabilities nearly four to one.
“We were losing 4,000 gallons per minute,” he said. “Our plant was struggling to product around 1,100 gallons per minute.”
He said the loss was determined to be coming from broken water lines at residential and commercial customers. That resulted in service being shut off to 180 meters. Also being cut off was service to rural water district customers.
“Henryetta citizens played a huge part when we were out,” he said. “They checked on neighbors and if they saw flooding, they called city hall.”
The city has just over 2,800 residential and commercial water customers.
Mayor Jennifer Munholland told Rotarians city crews were gearing up for the problem the day before the storm hit Feb. 9. “No one was prepared for a two-week freeze. Systems throughout the state are not designed for the temperatures that we saw.”
She pointed out there is assistance available for local residents who were affected by the storm with broken pipes and other damage. That assistance can be found at https://disasterassistance.gov or http://damage.ok.gov.
“The city will have significant costs involved,” she said, The water plant was hut by the stress that was put on the system.”
She told the Rotary club that QuikTrip officials have submitted their plans for the new store to be built on the east side of town. “We are waiting for OneOk to move their gas line. About a year from now we should have it open and fully functioning.”
Munholland credited State Senator Roger Thompson for his help bringing a problem to the Governor’s office and getting it resolved.