Freezing temperatures caused a sensor at a city water well to malfunction this morning, which led to little or no water pressure at several high-rise hotels in east Biloxi this morning.
The drop in pressure was first reported at 6:30 a.m., and Public Works crews had all water pressure restored within a couple of hours.
Typically, water well sensors activate the wells when water levels drop in the city’s network of elevated storage tanks. This morning, a sensor at a well supplying a water tower off Oak Street in east Biloxi malfunctioned causing the loss in pressure.
“The real issue was for the high rise hotels,” said Biloxi City Engineer Damon Torricelli. “Their booster pumps that help maintain pressure to their upper floors shut down when our water pressure dropped.”
Exacerbating the issue, Torricelli said, is that as part of post-Katrina rebuilding, the electronics controlling the wells are elevated to avoid future storm damage. “While this protects them from water, it exposes them to the wind and makes them more susceptible to freezing temperatures.”
Torricelli said the equipment installers and manufacturers are being consulted to avoid future issues.
Said Torricelli: “We certainly apologize for this inconvenience, and we’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Continued cold: The National Weather Service’s hard freeze warning was scheduled to end at noon today, but forecasters say another hard freeze is expected this evening. To see the weather page, click here.
Safety reminder: To see winter weather safety tips from the Biloxi Fire Department, click here.
News and notes
Carnival 5K run: Gulf Coast Carnival is off and running, literally. Gulf Coast Carnival Association holds its Second Annual Run for the Beads 5K and one-mile fun run Saturday, Jan. 18 in downtown Biloxi. To read more and see how you can sign up for this event, click here.
Snyder hours: A Bmail transmitted Monday had incorrect hours for the Snyder Center pool. The hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 a.m. to noon; and Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m.
Council meeting: The City Council meets this evening at 6. To see the agenda for the meeting, click here.