By Anthony Scott
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen city staff continues to gather information about the effects of flooding generated by remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine.
This was the main topic at Tuesday's workshop prior to the regular council meeting, as city staff gave a report about the storm's aftermath.
The report indicated the city of Killeen attempted to declare a disaster but was denied by the state because there wasn't enough damage. At the state and county level, it was another story.
Gov. Rick Perry asked President Obama to declare a major disaster in Bell County, along with 12 other counties, in a letter dated Sept. 20. This was after Bell County declared a disaster, taking into account damage from Killeen and surrounding areas.
So far, city estimates list about $500,000 worth of damage to city infrastructure, including water damage to concrete flood channels and damage to roads from rapid erosion. Earthen channels also were damaged, along with fences.
Early estimates from the city indicated that private property damage exceeded $500,000.
As the state waits for approval from Obama to declare an emergency, three crews are currently out documenting damage in case an emergency is declared.
"The problem with this is it can take from a few days to a few weeks, so that's kind of what we're looking at right now," said Emergency Management Coordinator Chad Berg.
The city continues to get reports from private residents on its hot line at (254) 501-6559. Residents are asked to report who was affected, what the address was, what kind of structure was damaged and the extent of the damage.
Damage can be reported on a form from the city's website at www.ci.killeen.tx.us. To return the document, residents can send them via e-mail, regular mail or fax. Forms also are available at City Hall, 101 N. College St. For more information, call Berg at (254) 501-7706.
Gas rate increase
Council also voted to approve a rate increase as part of a settlement agreement with natural gas provider Atmos Energy at its regular meeting Tuesday.
The rates will increase by about $1.40 per month for residents and about $3.30 per month for commercial customers.
The ordinance said the reason for the increase was in part so that Atmos can pay for about 100,000 replacement gas lines.
Contact Anthony Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.