NEEDVILLE WATER TOWER WILL STAY STANDING FOR NOW ON ACCOUNT OF IT MIGHT BE COVERED IN LEAD Needville’s city council appeared unmoved by local preservationists’ 2-year campaign to repaint and rehab the town’s signature WWII-era water tower earlier this month when it voted 3-2 to demolish the, um, patinaed structure. But just last Friday, 2 people with land near the tower took a new approach to preserving it, arguing in district court that the structure’s worth saving not just for its looks but because lab tests, their attorney wrote, showed that its exterior “was coated with six layers of lead-based paint,” each containing a high level of the chemical. A temporary restraining order granted against the City of Needville the same day now bars anyone from toppling the tower until “safety protocols are established by competent experts,” to ensure that “no environmental contamination” will result from the teardown. (“The contractor hired by the city council is a nice guy,” one of the plaintiffs, Rick Sinclair, told the Chronicle’s Kristi Nix, “but I don’t believe he is licensed or accredited to handle this level of lead abatement.”) A hearing to consider the lawsuit is now set for January 19. According to the plaintiffs, “Restoration coating systems have been identified” that would protect the tower while also sealing in the lead. [abc13] Video: Picture Perfect Productions
HISD and some of the southern swath of the Houston region have so far spent Valentine’s Day under a patchwork of school district shelter-in-place orders, this time in response to the tornado warnings that rolled through the upper Texas coast this morning (all since downgraded back to mere watch levels). A funnel did touch down near Needville around 8:30 and move roughly northeast toward First Colony, causing a number of structural rearrangements like the ones above (captured along Crabb River Rd. by the documentarians at the Fort Bend County sheriff’s office). The agency took a few more shots of the area’s roughing up:
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Fort Bend Unfenced
Yesterday’s wind-exacerbated grass fire (pictured above) near Wolfgang and Barek roads near Guy, TX, was put out as of late last night, per the Needville Fire Department’s social media team’s recounting of events. The late-night snuff-out wrapped up around 10:30 and reportedly took crews from Needville, Damon, Richmond, Fairchild, Rosharon and the U.S. Forest Service about 6 hours. The fire occurred about 10 miles west of Brazos Bend State Park, itself scheduled to be partially set ablaze on purpose this morning.
The Needville department (which last August had to petition Nintendo to remove its building from the area’s list of Poké-stops) snapped these shots of last night’s blaze:
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Guy on Fire