Two new backup generators are ready to provide emergency power to police and fire stations in the City of West Orange in the event of a loss of electricity. Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA) awarded a grant of $126,876 to provide the generators as part of the city’s long-term recovery from Hurricane Ike.

The City recently completed a final inspection process for the generators and expects them to be on line in the near future, ensuring continuous operation of the fire and police stations located at 2700 Austin Avenue.

“These new generators will ensure that emergency personnel can continue to serve the community when they are most needed,” said Howard G. Baldwin, interim executive director of TDRA.

When Hurricane Ike hit Texas in 2008, West Orange was one of many communities to suffer power outages for several days. Loss of normal electrical service to the city’s fire and police stations impeded emergency service during and after the storm.

A 60 kilowatt diesel-fueled generator with an automatic transfer switch was installed at the fire station and a 100 kilowatt diesel-fueled generator with an automatic transfer switch was installed at the police station. Automatic transfer switches allow for seamless and immediate transfer from electricity to generator-run services in the event of a power outage. The project benefits 4,189 people who live in the community.

TDRA’s disaster recovery program supplied funding for more than 2,200 individual construction sites from East Texas to the Rio Grande Valley. Projects include flood control, road repairs and water system rehabilitation, as well as more than 800 emergency generators at shelters, water/wastewater facilities and emergency management and medical facilities.

TDRA has oversight of HUD disaster recovery funding for the non-housing portion of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) disaster recovery funds. For more information, visit TDRA online at