Sen. Ted Cruz sends message of hope to Southeast Texans
Beaumont's main source of water was up and running as Sen. Ted Cruz toured Beaumont Water Treatment Plant on Friday.
It's been operating on generator power since Wednesday, but the boil water notice remained in effect as of Friday night (Sept. 8, 2017).
Officials say Beaumont's boil water notice will not be lifted without state approval. City officials say they're waiting on bacteria tests to return from the state, which could happen at any time.
Sen. Ted Cruz was happy about what he saw at Beaumont's Water Treatment Plant -- private industry and government were working together to restore Beaumont's water supply.
Cruz says it’s a sign of things to come.
“We are going to rebuild bigger and stronger than before,” he said.
Beaumont's loss of the water supply dealt a serious blow to the city, but Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens reminded the senator that other communities in our area have been hit even harder.
“The water plant and getting that up is very important and he wanted to see that, but that is only part of the destruction that the storm caused, and I don’t want him to forget that."
Cruz also visited Christian Fellowship Church in Beaumont's west end, which has become a distribution site for other Southeast Texas churches.
“Tt's a horrible storm, but wonderful thing to show the spirit to the whole country,” said Cruz.
He also used his visit to reassure storm victims here that even though Florida could soon get a major hit from Hurricane Irma, Southeast Texas will not be forgotten.
“This week is important,” Cruz said. “We passed a relief package for Texas totaling 15 and a half billion dollars."
Cruz visited Port Arthur last weekend, and now Beaumont.
The members at Christian Fellowship say his visit gives them confidence that he has Southeast Texas' back.
"You're still in shock a lot of people for the damage done and they just need a little something, a hug a smile, just somebody there, they know who cares and the senator did that for us today and we're grateful," said Pastor Rick White with Christian Fellowship Church.