Mayor Kelly Issues Statement To West U. Residents Concerning Hurricane Ike Recovery

September 19, 2008

Bob Kelly, mayor of West University Place, has issued a statement to residents concerning the city’s recovery from Hurricane Ike. The statement reads as follows:

“As part of the widespread destruction of many communities in the Gulf region, West U was severely impacted by Hurricane Ike. Our impact includes destruction of property, widespread power outages and a large amount of debris. We have tried to provide as much communication by using all avenues at our disposal for those who have power and those who do not from land phone lines to cell phones, e-mail, text messages, updates on www.westu.org, emergency notification, electronic signs and more. This is an opportune time to remind citizens they may register online to ensure they receive the city’s emergency notices by any phone number they provide.

Electricity is provided by CenterPoint Energy. CenterPoint is a privately owned and operated company that cities cannot control or direct. At the time of this writing, approximately 48% of the city is still without power. Power continues to come on throughout the City. CenterPoint informed us that work will continue in this area until power is restored. City Council and Staff continues to push CenterPoint for information but prioritization of individual residential properties is not possible. The City has requested a more detailed schedule for restoration from CenterPoint and they have agreed to see what they can do for us.

Some city services are open for business with public safety and public service recovery a priority. Most special events are canceled and schools are closed through Friday. Please call 713.668.4441 to verify if a department/division you need is currently open for business.

As of today Municipal Court is closed and arraignments and trials have been canceled for this week. Construction permits are required; however, permit fees will be waived for roof and fence repairs for the next 30 days. ALL contractors performing work in West U, including tree trimmers and debris removal, are required to register at Public Works Permitting Division and have the City permit in their possession at all times. Residents should ask to see this permit before hiring any contractors.

As of Thursday September 18th, household solid waste has resumed normal operations. Curbside recycling service remains suspended until next Wednesday; however the City’s recycling facility located at 4005 Dincans (one block West from Kirby on Westpark) is open for recycling drop off.

Beginning Saturday, September 20th, the City’s debris removal contractor will begin removing storm debris from the City’s Right-of-Way. During the debris removal process, the City’s contractor will be making two passes to pick up curbside debris. There will be approximately 1 – 2 weeks between pickups. Please make sure that you place all debris curbside in the near future. This weekend’s pickup will start in the Southeast quadrant of the City defined as South of University Blvd. from Poor Farm Ditch to Kirby Drive.

During this debris removal process PARKING ON THE STREET WILL BE PROHIBITED. This will allow us to help our residents by allowing the contractor to make his best efforts to collect material expeditiously and minimize the possibility for damage to vehicles. Your patience and compliance during this time will be greatly appreciated. Residents are cautioned, PLEASE DO NOT PLACE DEBRIS ON ANY VALVE BOX, METER OR ON OR NEAR ANY FIRE HYDRANT, street signs or streetlight.

The City has provided an ice station for West U residents without power. The ice station is parked on Amherst behind the police station and will be available all weekend from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day.

If you have any questions, please contact the City of West University Place at 713.668.4441. The City’s website at www.westu.org will be available for continued updates.

Thank you,
Mayor Kelly”

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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