Weathering the Storm: Bobby Gibbs


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Water Division employees made sure fuel, water storage and vehicle tanks were filled before Hurricane Michael. After the storm, workers will still trying to provide water.

“We had operations that were still trying to treat water, produce water, and send it out to our distribution system,” Bobby Gibbs, Bay County Utilities Services Water Division superintendent, said.

That plant treats 25 million gallons of water on average. During the hurricane, workers saw the demand go up from 25 to almost 50 million gallons.

“That is an indicator that there is a massive leak somewhere, and of course we later found out that leak was a 16 inch water line that fed Mexico Beach that obviously had ruptured,” Gibbs said. “That’s what lead us to the decision to of course turn our pumps off.”

Gibbs let his employees check on their families the day of the storm, which he says allowed them to come back and focus on their jobs.

“They take so much pride in their work and the job that they have, that they wanted to make sure that ‘hey I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get this water restored as quickly as we can.’ We knew that there was a lot of people out there that needed water,” Gibbs said. “So the utility, that’s our job, that’s what we do.”

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