Melissa infrastructure investments paid off during winter storm

By Joshua Baethge
For the Anna-Melissa Tribune
Melissa was able to maintain water pressure throughout the February winter storm

Last month’s winter story brought havoc to cities across Texas.  While almost all of them had to deal with multiple crises at once, Melissa seemed to fare better than most.  The city was able to maintain its water supply throughout the week-long ordeal.

According to City Manager Jason Little, investments the city made around 2015 to diversity power sources to its pump station paid-off in a big way.

“It should be said that we also were fortunate to not have a water supply issue through a major water line break or a fuel shortage where the generators would not be able to be refueled, so three factors for Melissa resulted in no water outages for Melissa: dependable supply, backup power options, and ability to refuel,” he said. “Sparing Melissa residents and businesses from a boil water requirement is a tangible result of the City’s planning and targeted investment in our infrastructure. These are not the kind of investments that make people are aware of, unless, of course, they’re not made.”

The city also suffered relatively little damage to its infrastructure.  There was a water line burst in a concession stand at the Z-PLEX but otherwise, facilities seemingly came way unscathed. That’s not to say that people weren’t suffering in the city.  Power outages affected nearly everyone at some point and record low temperatures cause bursting pipes in homes and businesses across town. Still, considering how much other municipalities dealt with, Melissa had it better than most. 

Trash and recycling pick-up were canceled during the week of the storm due to unsafe conditions. Over the course of the following week, crews from CWD, the city’s solid waste disposal partner, worked overtime to catch up and collect two weeks’ worth of trash and recycling. Little says that the drivers did an amazing job catching up, with many residents sending notes of appreciation for their efforts.

According to him, plans and equipment are only part of the equation.  The people implementing them are the ones who deserve the bulk of the credit.

 “I am supremely proud of the Police Department and Fire Department who responded to every call for service from our community, and the Public Works Department who searched for busted pipes, helped residents in need, and kept this system functioning at a high level throughout this event,” he said. “These three departments worked together to help minimize the damage the storm could have otherwise inflicted on Melissa. I am proud of the other departments for service in a support role to make sure these first responders had what they needed to serve Melissa.”