It’s Been Over 100 Days Without Clean Water For Some Harvey-Hit Towns

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelDecember 6, 2017 1:16 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

More than three months after Hurricane Harvey, there are still almost 4,000 Texans without clean drinking water. Thirteen boil-water notices remain in effect across the Gulf Coast, according to data the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality released Friday.

One of those towns still under that restriction is Rose City, Texas. Morgan Gstalter, a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise, took a deeper look at how this town of 600 is coping after its water plant was submerged in eight feet of water during Harvey, destroying all of their equipment.

Gstalter says that Janice Ratcliff, Rose City’s water operator, has described a vicious cycle as they try to get the plant back to normal. “They’re having issues with funding trying to get FEMA and insurance money approved in order to get this automatic panel system set back in, so they have the equipment but they can’t get it installed until they get the greenlight from their insurance company and things like that,” says Gstalter.

Until that necessary equipment can be installed, Ratcliff and her co-operator are running the plant manually. That means if something is going wrong, it takes them a lot longer to diagnose the problem. Despite these ongoing challenges, Gstalter she’s seen Rose City pull together.

“It’s really heartwarming to see Texas spirit,” says Gstalter. “They haven’t had water for over 100 days.”

This morning, Rose City mayor Bonnie Stephenson also appeared on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today to talk about ongoing recovery efforts in her town.

The number of people arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol dropped to its lowest level in more than four decades during the last fiscal year. That’s according to statistics the Department of Homeland Security released Tuesday.

Senior Policy Analyst Joshua Breisblatt at the American Immigration Council says the drop is part of an ongoing trend. “I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but if there are less apprehensions that implies there are less people coming,” he told KUT News. “It does not mean that CBP is not doing its job. It means merely that less people are attempting to cross.”

Meanwhile, arrests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers inside the United States increased almost 25 percent over the same time.

On Tuesday, activist and football player Colin Kaepernick received the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. None other than Texas-born Beyoncé presented Kaepernick with the award during the 2017 Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback began taking a knee last year to protest racial injustice and police brutality. He opted out of his contract with the 49ers last March and no other NFL team has signed him.

Beyoncé thanked Kaepernick for his efforts and said he “took action with no fear of consequence or repercussion – only hope to change the world for the better. To change perception, to change the way we treat each other, especially people of color.”