LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock City Council met in an emergency meeting Thursday morning to approve a state of disaster declaration issued by the mayor. Council approved unanimously. The declaration allows state and federal funds to be used for damages caused by heavy rains that are linked to Hurricane Alex.
Those damages could include the oil pipeline breaks at Lake Alan Henry in Garza County. During the meeting, Chief Lewis Treadwell, the city's Emergency Management Coordinator told members they hope to reopen the lake by Saturday.
"Right now, our plans are to try to get it open by Saturday. We're wanting to see what the rain does today. There is some concern with some flooding rain down there. We want to make sure that the containment booms hold up, and two more containment booms are going up today as a precaution in case of high water," Treadwell said.
Treadwell says if the river starts to swell due to heavy rains, they will have get clean-up crews out of the water for safety. He says they had to remove crews from the water Wednesday for about an hour due to lightning, but the rain didn't affect them.
Treadwell says around 60 people are part of the clean-up crew working to collect up to 165 barrels of spilled oil. He says it still appears that none of the oil has made it to the lake. He says they estimate it will take up to two weeks to complete the clean-up.
Councilman Floyd Price asked about additional lines that may run around or through Lake Alan Henry. Marsha Reed, Lubbock's Director of Public Works says they're in the process of getting a long range idea of what's out at the lake to prevent future problems.
"I'm not sure anybody really knows exactly what's there, and that's kind our goal is to determine who and where they're located around and up stream of the lake," Reed said.
Reed says she has asked Lubbock's Water Utilities Director and Environmental Compliance Specialist to join her and the Railroad Commission, TCEQ, Brazos River Authority and others pertinent to the issue to come up with a plan.
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