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KCBD INVESTIGATES: The cost to clean up flood damage at Citizens Tower

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 8:24 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The damage was done two months ago, but we are just now learning how much those March flood waters are going to cost the city of Lubbock.

On, March 12, 2021 a little over an inch of rain fell in a short period of time, causing a massive surge of water to somehow breach the basement of the new city hall building at Citizens Tower.

This month, KCBD news obtained city records showing the amount already spent on repairs and replacements. Repairs and cleanup have already cost the city more than $460,000, with more to come.

The cleanup effort has racked up the highest cost by far. Water remediation by a local vendor cost more than $337,000.

The next highest price tag: the elevators. Functioning at only 10% after the flood, the elevator damage put the 11-story building and the entire municipal government at a near standstill.

Hundreds of pages of emails detail a weeks-long chain between City Manager Jarrett Atkinson, Deputy City Manager Bill Howerton, and the Otis Elevator company. The emails show urgent requests to restore service, but in order to get them fixed, the company required the total cost of $79,000 up front.

Howerton signed the work order March 18, 2021. About a month later, the company gave the city another bill for around $4,000, making it a total of $83,400.

Other costs include $32,000 for computer and equipment replacement, $7,000 in overtime payments and a bit less than $1,000 for office supplies ruined in the storm.

The flooding has also created problems in the LP&L building across the street, displacing the call center and creating delays and headaches for utility customers.

It may take more than a year before that building will be completely repaired. Currently, it’s still unclear how much of that $460,000 may be covered by insurance.

The KCBD Investigates team has requested a final tally of those costs when the repairs are finally done.

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