During a natural disaster, access to power is a critical component of keeping City services online. A new grant will allow the City to install backup generators at two crucial sites to help restore power after a hurricane or similar event.
The City has received a subgrant from the Texas Division of Emergency Management to install generators at the Victoria Police Department and the Victoria Community Center. The total project will cost $1,011950, of which TDEM will pay $758,962.50, while the City will pay the remaining $252,987.50.
The grant is issued through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which provides funding to alleviate the effects of natural disasters.
During the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a lack of electricity forced the Victoria Police Department to relocate to the county’s Emergency Operations Center. There, officers and 911 dispatchers continued to provide services to the City while sharing limited space with multiple area agencies.
“Had we not lost electricity at the police department, we would have been fully functional,” recalled Officer David Brogger.
During the time that the department was functioning out of the Emergency Operations Center, police officers had to travel back to the police department to obtain records that are stored there. With a second source of power, officers will be able to stay at the police department during the next storm, which will allow them to keep the building secure and easily access resources.
The community center is another important resource that the City will be able to use fully if a power supply is available. The versatile open space can be used to fulfill many crisis functions, including shelter for residents and staging for emergency services and relief efforts.
TDEM is also administering funds for the recently approved project to install storm shutters at the Victoria Public Library. As a result of these grants, the City will have funding available to complete the design of the generators and hire contractors to complete both projects.