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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Water system damage could total $150,000

  • A week ago, Hannibal Board of Public Works personnel were focused on keeping the city from running out of water. With that emergency having been dealt with, BPW officials will soon begin the process of determining what it cost to get the city’s water system operational again.
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  • A week ago, Hannibal Board of Public Works personnel were focused on keeping the city from running out of water. With that emergency having been dealt with, BPW officials will soon begin the process of determining what it cost to get the city’s water system operational again.
    “Nobody has tabulated all the costs yet. We are still evaluating some equipment to see if it can be salvaged or repaired. We are collecting those costs in our accounting system but it will be weeks before we know,” said Bob Stevenson, general manager of the BPW, who offered a preliminary estimate of $150,000.
    While by no means “chump change,” $150,000 pales in comparison to what it cost - $800,000 - to repair damage to the city’s electrical infrastructure following the May 20, 2013, storm.
    Although insurance did not cover any of the storm damage costs, it appears some of the BPW’s water system expenses will be paid for by insurance.
    “It is the nature of the insurance we can get,” said Stevenson. “Exposed power lines are not covered. Plants and plant equipment are covered. I believe most of the damage this year will be covered by our property insurance policy. There will be a deductible amount and they might refuse to pay for some possible upgrades.”
    The BPW’s insurance coverage is provided by the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (MIRMA), which is a nonprofit cooperative of communities, counties and districts that have pooled resources and are essentially self-insured.
    The costs from the recent emergency that are not covered by insurance will have to come from the BPW’s Water Fund.
    “That may have a negative impact on other capital spending. It is too early to say,” Stevenson said.
    As of Friday, it was still believed that lightning caused a valve to open, allowing the Water Filter Plant to flood before water from a storage tank could be turned off.
    “A forensics investigator is on the job today (Friday) to verify that theory or find another,” said Stevenson.

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