Groves working on winter storm related issues

Published 12:16 am Thursday, February 18, 2021

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GROVES — For Groves officials, the most important task at hand is getting the city’s water pressure back up to normal levels following the winter storm earlier this week.

City manager D.E. Sosa guesses the cause could be residents letting their water stream instead of drip to keep pipes from breaking or there may be water line breaks in the city.

But city employees won’t find out the answer until the water pressure returns.

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Sosa believes the breaks are mostly residential as the city’s main lines are deeper than six inches in the ground.

The reason for the low water pressure could be a combination of both.

The city is under a boil water notice.

The water plant is making slow but steady progress with additional water to fill towers and increase pressure in the system, according to information from the city.

Residents are asked to report broken lines or water line problems to the city at 960-5718 after hours and 960-5704 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

In addition, the city is in the process of picking up garbage — they are behind due to Monday’s holiday. Then there is landfill availability to consider. Groves can utilize either Port Arthur’s or Beaumont’s landfill but it’s the issue of how long the landfill is open.

“We are taking this an hour at the time and making the best decisions based on taking care of the water concerns first and the sanitation of the water,” Sosa said.

As of mid-morning Wednesday Sosa hadn’t received any direct calls from businesses regarding the water issue but this leads to another concern — restaurants and how they are being impacted by the low water pressure and boil water notice.

Business impact

Bruce’s Market Basket in Groves has worked to meet issues thrown at them with the winter storm.

Damon Young, store manager, said the only challenges they have dealt with is getting deliveries.

Truck drivers can’t make it in with bridge closures. Some deliveries are coming through Houston, which is also impacted by the storm.

“Between that (problems getting deliveries) and getting employees in and out, we’ve been ok,” Young said on Wednesday, adding the first few days of the week were hard.

The store had limited hours of operation on Monday and Tuesday with roads closed and iced over. A thaw occurred that made roads passable, thus allowing associates to arrive to work.

Vendors, he said, are still struggling to get to the store.

Resident reaction

Groves resident Jeremy Squires has been through everything that nature has to thrown and rose to the challenge.

If there’s one thing he’s learned in the past five-and-a-half years of living in this part of the Golden Triangle, it’s how to survive.

“Some of us come from and have been raised on struggle,” he said. “We know all too well how to acclimate ourselves. Regardless of how you grew up, when it is put before you, you apply whatever skills you have and make it work for you and your family.”