Utilities Department takes steps to secure service

Published 4:21 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2011

When Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004, city services were hit hard — and at the time Atmore did not have all the resources it needed to keep water running for everyone.

But utilities board manager Tom Wolfe told Atmore City Council members Monday that “significant” improvements will likely help keep water running through a storm and its aftermath.

“Remember back in September 2004 after Ivan, we had meetings and some of you would look at me and say, ‘Are we going to run out of water?’” Wolfe recalled. “Our generators weren’t working well.”

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But the city has now added several new generators, 75 percent of which were paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We’re in much better shape than we were in 2004,” he said. “You should never say never, but we should not run out of water in the event of a hurricane.”

The city has a total of 22 portable generators to help power lift stations in the event of a massive, prolonged power outage, Wolfe said.

Wolfe also thanked the council for seeking a Community Development Block Grant that would help relieve some city sewer problems.

In other business Monday:

• The council approved a list of 19 new properties that have been identified as violating the city’s nuisance ordinance because of weed problems.

A previous list of 20 properties was whittled down after property owners stepped up to address the problem, but five will need to be cleaned up.

“We’ve had some pretty good results” from the attention to the problems, Mayor Howard Shell said.