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Nederland OK’s water backup for Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas

NEDERLAND — During Tropical Storm and Hurricane Harvey the city of Nederland helped their neighbors in Beaumont when they lost water service.

One of the entities that received water from Nederland was Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. And now Nederland has approved a memorandum of agreement with the hospital system to provide water again in case of emergency.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque said the city provided this vital service for several days until they were up and running again.

“We invoiced them and kept track of expenses and consumption and overtime for staff and were reimbursed,” Duque said.

Duque said the Federal Emergency Management Agency typically prefers agreements such as this to be in place before a disaster.

But the city won’t be at a disadvantage — the city will not provide the water if there was an issue with their own water supply.

“We are trying to be good neighbors and do the best we can,”Duque said. “We were in a position to help.”

The hospital was not running normal operations during Harvey. Only the emergency room and other essential functions were operating, and the ER would most likely be the only recipient of the water.

The issue came up during a recent council meeting.

This is the first time the city has had such an agreement for water with the hospital, Duque said.

Rob Woods, the city’s public works director, said providing water would not tax the system or negatively impact the city’s water supply.

The city of Beaumont lost service to their main pump station in the rising floodwaters on Aug. 31, 2017. The pump station is located along the Neches River and draws water from the river as a main source of water for the city, according to information from Beaumont. They also lost a secondary water source at the Loeb wells in Hardin County. Water service was later restored.