Cisco residents, officials plan next steps after flood


CISCO, Texas - Cisco is working to get back to normal after last week's flood destroyed the city's water treatment plant.

A special city council meeting was held Monday night to explain the situation and let people know what officials are doing to get drinkable water back into people's homes.

They've installed a portable water treatment plant, but their two pumps are out of service. The city is operating with one rented pump for the time being, but Cisco Mayor James King said the city hopes to get the two pumps back online by Wednesday.

The water treatment plant was declared a total loss, and King said the city hopes to have a new plant built near Cisco College in about a year.

In the meantime, volunteers and the people with the American Red Cross are pitching in to help.

The flood did plenty of damage, but also left behind flood victims like Michael Cofferen. He's thankful to get a clean-up kit from the American Red Cross and bottled water from volunteers.

"It means the world," Cofferen said of the volunteers' efforts. "I did 25 years in the Air Force, and it cost me a lot. I deal with it every day."

Cofferen suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. His lake house was his place to get away, but the flood brought five feet of water inside the home. Fourteen inches of standing water was still in the house Monday.

"We've lost everything," Cofferen said. "It's totally destroyed and I just hope and pray I can get it back one day to what it was."

The American Red Cross is handing out clean-up kids, complete with items stuff a flood victim might need to get started.

They include items like brooms, trash bags and gloves.

"It's important because flooding doesn't happen every day, so sometimes it's tough to know what to do when something happens," said Janelle Schmid, a disaster program manager with the American Red Cross.

When the two pumps are back online, the city will be able to pump about a million gallons of water a day into the system, but King said normal usage for this time of year is one-and-a-half million to two million gallons per day. A boil water notice and stage three water restrictions were still in effect.

Volunteers also handed out bottled water donated by area grocery stores, and nearby towns and businesses. The Myrtle Wilks Community Center is open to people to get help.

"It makes me proud to be a part of not just Cisco, but this area, just to see how everybody came together in a time of need," said Levi Goode, an administrator at the Myrtle Wilks Community Center.

Cofferen said fellow veterans and Dyess airmen have also pledged to help him get his lake house fixed when the water goes down. It's a pledge that left the retired Air Force sergeant a little choked up.

"We will get our lives back in order," Cofferen said.

"It might take a while, but I love this country, and I love the way it takes care of us."

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