City of Port Isabel continues water giveaways

PORT ISABEL — From electricity outages to boil water notices, residents and visitors of the Laguna Madre area have been facing several obstacles created by last week’s freezing temperatures.

Monday, bacteriological samples were taken and delivered to the Laguna Madre Water District’s (LMWD) laboratory in Harlingen.

Officials say results are expected after 24 hours.

When all sample results return negative for bacteria, the water district will post an announcement rescinding its boil water notice that’s in effect for Laguna Vista, Laguna Heights, Port Isabel, Long Island Village and South Padre Island.

Until then, LMWD customers are asked to continue boiling water or using bottled water for consumption.

Those in the Laguna Madre area who are in need of drinking water still have a chance to get some.

The City of Port Isabel, in collaboration with Brownsville PUB and Point Isabel ISD, will distribute water from a 6,500 gallon tanker that will be at the Port Isabel High School parking lot Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Those receiving water will need to bring their own containers.

The limit is three containers for a total of seven and a half gallons.

“You don’t even have to leave your vehicle,” Port Isabel Marketing Director Valerie Bates said. “Just bring your own container and the staff that’s out there will fill it up for you and sanitize all of the faucets so they’re safe for the next person.”

The services are also available for homebound delivery by calling (956) 943-2727.

United community

Since Feb. 16, a water boil notice has been issued by the Laguna Madre District due to the power outages and waterline breaks the area experienced.

For the past several days, local entities and organizations have been trying to help the community recover from the effects caused by the winter storms.

The City of South Padre Island and Town of Laguna Vista distributed hundreds of cases of water.

The City of Port Isabel opened a nightly warming center, as well as held food and water giveaways.

“We’ve tried to do everything we can,” Port Isabel City Manager Jared Hockema said. “It’s a difficult situation for our citizens with the loss of power and water that we endured for so many days and of course, the extreme cold.”

Hockema said the city’s employees worked very hard during some difficult conditions to respond to this crisis because they care about the community.

“We’re just glad that it seems everybody’s come out of this ok, and we’re really thankful for all of the people who worked with us and helped their family, friends and neighbors during this crisis,” he said. “The fabric of society is woven with threads of kindness and we saw that here.”