2017 – News & Events Archives


Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’s celebration!

There is a lot going on here in Ivanhoe and we are thrilled about it all! In order to keep you informed and to get your input, we will be holding a Town Hall Meeting the 7th at 10 AM. A few of the things we will be talking about are:

– Comprehensive Plan being developed in conjunction with Texas A & M.
– High-speed internet.
– Our new City Marshal and our Municipal Court and our Judge.

It is important for us to get input from the members of our community, so please be sure and come. There will be a special time after the meeting to meet and greet both our City Marshall, Terry Riley; and our Municipal Judge, Judith Haney. We will have coffee, tea, etc. and if you can, bring some cookies or something to show them our appreciation.

We had a Special Meeting of City Council this past Friday and the decision was made to purchase a Mini-Ex, a Dump Trailer, a Blower and a Vibrator. Acquiring this equipment will enable us to begin doing our own pot-hole patching, culvert installation and ditch work.

The tractor we purchased has already paid for itself since we were able to do our own mowing, etc. and our right-of-ways are looking so much better! We are grateful to Michael Webb for the great job he is doing and to Cory Stark and Brian (our worker from Work-Force Solutions) for keeping everything weed-eated, trimmed and trash picked up.

FYI – Ivanhoe resident, Kimberly Walker Murray, has agreed to represent Ivanhoe on the Chamber of Commerce. We would like to welcome her to the team and thank her for her willingness to serve the city in this capacity.

I cannot say enough about all of the folks who have been so supportive and helpful in so many ways. We really have reason to be very grateful!

In closing, I wish you all the Happiest and Healthiest of New Years!

Your Mayor,
Cathy Bennett


Ivanhoe Has Its Own Theater Group!

The newly formed Lakeside Theater Company is proud to announce its first production: “Dead to the Last Drop” by Ken Jones and directed by Gayle Forsberg to be held at the Ivanhoe Community Center.

“Dead to the Last Drop” is a hilarious interactive mystery that takes place in a coffeehouse and bookstore called “Café Caffeine”. The crazy cast of characters leads the audience through a maze of funny twists and turns. Opportunity for the audience and cast interaction reaches a peak when the audience is allowed to vote on the ending that they want to hear! There are four possible killers and four possible endings!

Performance dates are: March 3 – 7:30 PM, March 4 – 7:30 PM, March 5 – 2:30 PM, March 10 – 7:30 PM, and March 11 – 7:30 PM

$15.00 Donation. For tickets call 409-837-9167 or email lakesidetheatercompany@gmail.

Starring: Amy Bythewood, Lynn Lewis, Woodie Cone, Barbara Morris, David Herrington and Joe Dan Richardson.


Greetings Everyone!

As I mentioned in my last month’s letter to you, we have entered into an exclusive franchise agreement with Local Sanitation (409) 224-1780) for trash pick-up. Since there have been numerous questions regarding this, we have posted more details on an insert in the newsletter.

One thing that I would like to make clear to everyone is that we did hold a Town Hall Meeting to explain the idea to everyone and get input from our citizens. We hold these Town Hall Meetings to get your input. It provides a forum for open discussion between Council and citizens. Please be sure and attend when you see one posted.

The tower has arrived for the high speed internet and is currently being installed on the fire station grounds. Cypher Connect will be providing the service which will finally provide us with unlimited data.

Our own Lakeside Theater Company’s first production of “Dead to the Last Drop” has received rave reviews. This one was posted on Facebook by Jim Spencer:

Dr. Tracy Spencer and I went to the first Lakeside Theater Company production of “Dead to the Last Drop” last night. It was GREAT and it was packed, despite the weather!!! A special thanks to all of the people involved and Mayor Cathy Bennett for bringing us something else to look forward to. I highly recommend attending future productions. -Jim Spencer

We are really proud of the production and encourage everyone to attend future plays we have in the works.

As always, I would like to see all of you at our meetings so that you can be informed about what is going on in our community.

See you soon,
Cathy Bennett


Greetings Everyone

It is a rather sad time for our community. We lost one of our dearest members this past week when “Papa John” Craven went to be with our Lord. An entire community mourns the loss. Our prayers go out to his family.

The City of Ivanhoe experienced a severe storm this past Wednesday (March 29th). Many of us are still cleaning up from it. Representatives from the National Weather Service came by on Thursday and their calculation was that we had winds of up to 110 miles per hour. There were questions on whether or not we actually had a tornado or if it was just straight line winds. Our Emergency Management Coordinator informed me that it was confirmed that a tornado did hit Ivanhoe. Our City Marshal had close to 20 calls that afternoon. We are so grateful at this point that we did not experience the severe weather that was predicted for Sunday the 2nd of April.

FYI… We now have a Deputy City Marshal. We are thrilled to welcome Monroe Gageto our team. He is retired Houston PD and we are blessed to have him serve in this capacity.

The tower has been erected at the Fire Station for the high speed internet. The City has provided the funding for the tower and the Fire Department has allowed it to be installed on their property for one dollar a year. Council decided that investing in the tower was such a benefit to the City that it was worth the cost of the tower. Cypher Connect will be installing their equipment soon and we will finally have high speed internet with UNLIMITED DATA here in Ivanhoe!

There has been some confusion about the paving of Durwood. In 2012 the City applied for a Community Development Block Grant to pave the road. We originally thought that the grant would cover the cost of paving the entire length of the road but it only covers paving about one half of it. In fact, because of the cost, the City had to put out additional funds to get the portion done that we did.

This year we have applied for another CDBG grant for the remander of the road but it looks like Federal for this is being cut. It was not a FEMA project.

When there are questions about what is going on in Ivanhoe, please ask for the answers. Rumors abound and sadly, misinformation is put out as truth. Please come to meetings. That is the best way to keep up with what is happening. Our next meeting will be Thursday the 13th. We look forward to seeing you then!

Happy Easter!
Cathy Bennett


Greetings Everyone

Well here we are in the beginning of our “summer season”. It is great to see all of the activity on our lakes. It is a time for all of us to remember to be safe. Be sure and have life jackets available when boating and use them when skiing or jet skiing, etc. Also make sure swimmers are out of the way of boat traffic. Have fun and be safe!!

One of the ways we kick off the season here in the City of Ivanhoe is with our Memorial Day Fish Fry, put on by our Fire Department. They are raising funds for building a new facility so it is really important to support the effort. In addition, they provide us with an amazing 4th of July fireworks display! So be sure and come out and enjoy a great meal the 27th beginning at 10:30 AM!

I would like to invite everyone to come to our May Council meeting. We have invited our County Appraiser, David Luther, to come and visit us and be available to answer questions regarding our appraisals.

Another important event this month will be a Town Hall meeting the 13th of May after the IPOIA meeting. We scheduled this one on a Saturday in order to accommodate our non-resident property owners.

The Town Hall Meetings provide an opportunity for us to hear from our citizens. Your input is important to us. On the agenda for this meeting:
– Comprehensive Plan being created for us by Texas A&M
– Streets, dams, maintenance and financing
– Door to door solicitation
– Update on High-Speed Internet
– Questions & Answers and pertaining to the above

As many of you may have noticed, our two concrete dams, Galahad and Charmaine have been re-caulked. In the process, voids under both dams were detected and we are looking at costly repair. This will also be addressed at the Town Hall Meeting.

It is so important that folks stay informed and the best way to do that is to come to meetings, check out our website (cityofivahoetx.com) and of course, ask any questions you may have. I am always available to answer any questions and if I do not know the answer, I will find out.

We look forward to seeing you!
Cathy Bennett



So much has happened since our last newsletter! We had a great 4th of July weekend with delicious burgers and hot dogs prepared by our Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Department; followed by another successful Golf Cart Parade and, of course, the wonderful fireworks display. Sincere thanks to our Fire Department!! Something new this year…our neighbor, Brian Morvant, had his drone out filming both the Golf Cart Parade and the Fireworks. Thanks, Brian!

Roads…. Next, our Mini-Ex arrived and is out there at work! Less than a year ago, I recall telling folks that we did not even own a lawn mower! Now we own a tractor and trailer, a dump trailer, a pick-up truck and (thanks to Tommy & Patsy Morris) a lawn mower, not to mention a fenced lay-down yard!

This is very important for our City, as up to this point we have had to pay a contractor to do all of our roadwork. We now have a four-person road crew and are able to do much of our own work which will save us a great deal of money.

Dams….The caulking on both Galahad and Charmaine dams was completed and voids filled. There is one more void to fill on Charmaine and we will have that work done in October. Council decided to postpone the repair until the beginning of our next physical year as our dam fund was depleted. Since the joints are sealed, we should have no further erosion. The repair will not require lowering the lake.

Our City Marshal is doing a great job! We also have two deputy marshals to cover us when Terry is not available. Thanks so much to all three of you!

We also have a Code Enforcement Officer in training and hopefully we will have one more soon. These folks volunteer their time and we cannot thank them enough.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, our council members will not be involved in social media largely due to open records requirements. We do not have the staff to handle it. However, we are aware of what is posted and I would like to assure everyone that all of our records are open. Budget figures are available to all. I am certainly available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Also, I would encourage everyone to come to meetings, both City Council and IPOIA. Get first-hand information.

Finally, as most of you know, Leon passed away June 29th. I cannot fully express the gratitude I feel to the members of this community for the love and support I have felt as we went through this. The final 6 months were very difficult. Your patience and understanding has been so appreciated. Thank you.

In closing, I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at upcoming meetings.

Cathy Bennett

Ivanhoe Update: 5 PM 8/28/17:

In the event of medical emergency in Ivanhoe call 911. Emergency arrangements will be made for transport out of Ivanhoe. There is no guarantee of transport back into Ivanhoe.

To contact the City Law Enforcement Marshal for law enforcement matters please call the Tyler County Sheriff Dispatch at (409) 283-2172.

Tolar Rd (County Road 1205) is impassable due to fast moving high water approximately a foot deep and a hundred feet long which has possibly washed out a portion of the road. As a result, there is no entrance or exit to the Tolar Rd. back gate of Ivanhoe.

Lakewood Drive which traverses Tristan Dam, Galahad Dam, and Camelot Dam is closed at each of the Dams due to fast moving, high water. The road will remain closed at least overnight due to continued heavy runoff from the watershed north of Ivanhoe. As a result of Lakewood Dr. being closed at Tristan Dam and Galahad Dam, residents and property owners between those two dams are not able to get in or out. The only authorized transport is by Emergency vehicles designed for high water.

Camelot Drive over Charmaine Dam (closest to the Civic Center) will also remain closed at least overnight due to the fast moving/high water over the spillway portion of the dam. As a result of Galahad Dam and Charmaine Dam being closed residents and property owners in the southern and western portions of the city are not able to get in and out until the water runoff recedes to a safe level.

Tyler County has established temporary shelter at True Vine Baptist Church in Doucette for those individuals unable to get to their home in Ivanhoe. For residents who are at home in Ivanhoe, you are advised to Shelter in Place and wait out the flood event.

Ivanhoe Dams are handling the flood as they are designed to. There has been no dam failure. Someone posted incorrect information on a personal social media site regarding Ivanhoe Dam. Please be aware that anyone posting misinformation is responsible for any harm or damage that occurs to anyone as a result of the misinformation.

Official announcements and information is posted to the City website at www.cityofivanhoetx.com, and on the Tyler County Emergency Management facebook page.

The next update will be posted at 8 AM Tuesday morning.

Ivanhoe Update: 7:20 PM 8/28/17

The City was informed by the owner of one of the upstream lakes above Lake Galahad that the spillway on his lake could possibly fail. The Tyler County Emergency Management Officer has been notified and the spillway is being checked.

It is unknown at this time what the status of the spillway is. However, the City is recommending that all property owners who have watercraft, or other items that might be impacted by a sudden 1 to 2 foot inflow of water into Lake Galahad and then into Lake Charmaine take precautionary measures.

This is not something the City of Ivanhoe has control over. We are providing the information to keep our property owners as up to date on the flood events as possible.

Ivanhoe Update: 9:30 AM 8/29/17

Lakewood Drive remains closed at Camelot Dam, Galahad Dam & Tristan Dam. Charmaine Dam has been reopened for traffic. If the Galahad lake level continues to drop as occurred overnight, the city anticipates opening Lakewood across Galahad Dam later today. The low water crossing at Tristan Dam emergency spillway will probably remain closed thru Thursday. For the time being, the “peninsula” portion of the city remains stranded. Emergency ingress and egress is being assisted by the Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Dept.

The next update will be at 1 PM.

Ivanhoe Update: 1 PM 8/29/17

The National Hurricane Center gives us a rainfall potential of around 10 inches before Harvey moves away. The latest model has the “eye” of the storm tracking just offshore until landfall in the vicinity of Lake Charles. While offshore, the storm continues to pump moisture into our watershed, as soon as the eyes moves east of us, we will see less rainfall and the watershed will have less drainage. All that said, the advisory group is not opening any of the closed portions of Lakewood which remains closed at the emergency spillway (low water crossing) at Tristan Dam, and at the spillway portion of Camelot Dam.

Lake Camelot Circle is open for residents to detour to the back side of Lake Camelot. Vehicles with high clearance can make it across those areas slowly, but the street remains closed due to 10 inches of fast-moving water at the Tristan Dam spillway and 6 inches of fast-moving water at Camelot Dam spillway. Remember, 2 inches of fast moving water is sufficient to push a grown man over. The section of roadway on Galahad Dam has between 1 and ½ inches of flow across it. Due to the difficulty of seeing where the street surface edge is on the lakeside with the water flowing across the street, it is possible that someone could drive into the lake.

Adding to the equation; the Sheriff’s office reported that the dam at Camp Urland failed this morning. Water from that lake failure is making its way thru the other lakes upstream of Ivanhoe and is adding to the amount of flow that eventually passes thru Galahad and Charmaine so the depth across Galahad Dam could go up in a short period of time.

The safety of our residents and property owners is top priority. Emergency ingress and egress assistance is being provided by the Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Dept. personnel.

The next Ivanhoe update will be at 5 PM.

Ivanhoe Update: 5 PM 8/29/17

The amount of rainfall thru the day is prohibiting the city from opening Lakewood Drive at Galahad Dam, Tristan Dam and Camelot Dam. During the day the level flowing into Lake Charmaine has increased by about 2 inches. Based on the National Weather Service rainfall forecast expected over night, the city will be posting Road Closed signs on Camelot Drive across Charmaine Dam by 5:30 PM. This means that property owners on the Southern, Western and central portion of the city will not have ingress or egress. We hope that less rainfall than forecast occurs overnight and the run off levels drop so the city can open the Galahad Dam portion of Lakewood and Camelot Dr. across Charmaine Dam Wednesday morning. The advisory group will review the areas Wednesday morning along with the weather forecast and determine if safe for traffic.

There is currently about 2 inches of water running across Ivanhoe Drive below the Ivanhoe Dam (near the former Mama’s Kitchen/Ivanhoe Store). Signs are posted warning about Watch for Water on Road; please drive thru the 25-foot length of water carefully.

As a result of the flood/storm event the Ivanhoe Fire Dept. will not have the Labor Day weekend fish fry fundraiser. The Ivanhoe Civic Club will not have their Bake Sale in conjunction with the fish fry.

Ivanhoe Municipal Court scheduled for Wednesday afternoon (8/30/17) is weather dependent. Please call the city office at (409) 283-3299 after 10 AM if you have a court appointment scheduled.

Pending any urgent incidents the next Ivanhoe Update will be at 9 AM Wednesday morning (in order for the advisory group to assess the conditions before the Update is posted).

Ivanhoe Update: 9 AM 8/30/17

The main phone line for the Ivanhoe City Hall has water in the line. If you need to contact the city and not able to get thru on (409) 283-3299, call the City Marshal number (409) 283-2223.

For people who are stranded on the peninsula portion of the city with no water pressure from the water service, bottled water will be available at the Ivanhoe Fire Dept. as soon as the Emergency Management office can get the arrangements finalized. We are hoping by noon.

There is approximately 7 inches of water runoff across Ivanhoe Drive at the culvert below the former Ivanhoe Store/Mama’s Kitchen. Which means the main portion of the city is blocked from ingress or egress (except emergency vehicles designed for high water) until the fast moving water level drops.

Camelot Drive at Charmaine Dam has approximately an inch of water flow across the dam. The road is closed. Lakewood Drive is closed at Tristan Dam with approximately a foot of water flowing across the road at the emergency spillway. Lakewood remains closed across Galahad Dam with about 3 inches of water over the road on the dam. Lakewood Drive remains closed at Camelot Dam with approximately a foot of water flowing across the road at the emergency spillway.

With the amount of rainfall that occurred overnight and thru the morning, the best estimate for the water levels to drop sufficiently to allow ingress & egress will be Thursday afternoon.

It should be noted that the water levels where the Road Closed signs are posted have reached the dangerous level. Anyone attempting to cross the flooded areas will likely be swept downstream. Do not cross the rushing high water areas. Anyone needing emergency care should call 911. Arrangements will be made to get emergency personnel in, or evacuation of the individual needing care. Minor issues will not be addressed by emergency services.

The next Ivanhoe Update will be provided at noon.

Ivanhoe Intermediate Update: 10:45 AM 8/30/17

The City has been informed by the owner of KARA Farms that they are about to open the flood gates on their lake. The resulting inflow into Lake Tristan in the next hour will increase the amount of rushing water flowing across Lakewood Drive at the Tristan Dam emergency spillway. The amount of water flow will effectively close Lakewood Drive to ANY traffic for an unknown period of time.

The amount of water running across Ivanhoe Drive (the main drive coming into Ivanhoe) between Ivanhoe Dr. East and Ivanhoe Drive West has now increased to the level that the road is impassable. At this time no traffic can get any further into Ivanhoe than the first 3 streets and those streets (Lancelot, Galahad, and Ivanhoe Dr. East) may have so much water over them that they are impassable as well.

Monarch Water service crew is unable to get to the middle section of Ivanhoe due to the roads closed from high water. We are issuing a Boil Water Notice for certain areas of the city because of a water line break causing a loss of pressure in the system. The areas for the BOIL WATER NOTICE are: Sherwood Forest Dr., Little John, Oakford Ln./Oakford Dr., Buckingham, Friar Tuck, Marion Dr., Wickford, Nottingham, Sherwood Forest West, Robin hood, Sherwood Forest North, Marion North, Friar Tuck North, 27th Street, 28th, 23rd Street, 24th Street, Lakeview Dr., Yorkshire, West Forest Dr., Winchester, Hickory Circle, Lady Georgie, Galahad Estates, Sir Charles, Sir Henry, and Queens Circle. There is approximate 235 customers affected by the BOIL WATER NOTICE.

The next full Ivanhoe Update will be posted at noon 8/30/17

Ivanhoe Update: Noon 8/30/17

At this time residents should plan on being in place for at least 36 hours. The 6 inches of runoff across Charmaine Dam has blocked Camelot Drive from any kind of passage over the dam. 14 inches of runoff is now flowing across Ivanhoe Drive at the culvert between Ivanhoe Dr. East and Ivanhoe Dr. West meaning most of Ivanhoe is blocked from ingress or egress. 6 inches of runoff across Galahad Dam, unknown about the Lake Camelot Circle/Lakeview Circle culverts that carry the majority of inflow into Lake Camelot. There is 24 inches of runoff currently running across the Tristan Dam emergency spillway.

The amount of water combined with the heavy rain that we have experienced this morning means that it will take at least 24 hours for the water levels to drop sufficiently for the roads to be opened. That is the best case scenario. The worst case is for additional dams above Ivanhoe to fail and bring a large volume of level into the Ivanhoe Lakes. The Ivanhoe Dams that have streets on top of them have been designed to pass thru runoff from upstream. Additional pressure from failed upstream dams will definitely put them to the test.

The Ivanhoe City Hall is a matter of an inch or so away from having water come into the facility. The phone to the City office and the City Marshal has ceased functioning. The only means of contact now is via cell phone and email. Properties along Charmaine Dr. East near the City Hall have now had water up to the walls; in one case water has entered the structure.

Weather radar indicates that we should begin seeing clearing skies in the next hour, however the watershed for the lakes will continue to empty into the lakes for the next 24 hours, and it will be at least 36 hours before ingress and egress can occur. Emergency response for medical conditions will occur on a case by case basis, as the emergency services are able to get in or out.

Next Ivanhoe Update will be 3 PM 8/30/17. Intermediary Updates will occur if circumstances require.

Ivanhoe Update: 3 PM 8/30/17

We have thus far dodged another bullet as far as additional pressure on Gallahad and Charmaine Dams: Commissioner Martin Nash has visually inspected and reported that the small lake behind German Pellets is somehow holding together for now. Twin Lakes is in good shape to be able to pass the flow if the small lakes fail, so we have somewhat of a buffer before the flow reaches Lake Galahad.

The street closures remain on Camelot across Charmaine Dam, and Lakewood Dr. at the Tristan Dam emergency spillway and Galahad Dam. The amount of water flow reported in the noon update at those locations has not changed. The good news is that the levels have not increased even with the amount of rain that occurred around noon. The rainfall is not expected to diminish until late this afternoon or evening. Which means the previous report of 24 to 36 hours before the water flow across the roads drops sufficiently to allow traffic to resume is still in place.

Our residents in the “peninsula” area are without water until Monarch Water crews can get vehicles & equipment in to repair the water main. The Tyler County Emergency Management Office is arranging for bottled water that will be distributed from the Ivanhoe Fire Station. The water will not be available until the high water transport vehicle can safely travel across the Tristan spillway overflow.

Again, medical emergencies are being addressed on a case by case basis when the 911 center is called. There have been a number of individuals providing various forms of assistance and neighbors helping neighbors. The City is very thankful for all the help to our residents and property owners. Please be aware of the dangerous situations that occur with so much fast moving water. As far as we know no one has been harmed in Ivanhoe, and we can be thankful that we have not had high winds and no electric power to add to the misery.

Next Ivanhoe Update will be at 5 PM.

Ivanhoe Update: 5 PM 8/30/17

Additonal good news; the water running over Ivanhoe Drive at the culvert below Lake Ivanhoe Dam that had been too deep for vehicles to travel thru has now dropped. There is approximately 4 inches of swift moving water over the road. Vehicles can now travel across that area, but do so slowly and stay to the middle of the street.

The water running across the emergency spillway at Tristan Dam has dropped approximately 2 inches since the 3 PM Update. The level is still too high for vehicle traffic to pass so Lakewood Drive remains closed at that location. The Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Dept. has utilized the large tanker truck (full of water for the weight) to deliver medical supplies to individuals stranded on the “peninsula” portion of the city. The level should continue to drop overnight and hopefully Lakewood Drive can be reopened early Thursday (pending additional rainfall overnite).

Galahad Dam still has 3 to 4 inches of flow over the entire length of the dam and remains closed due to the fast moving overflow. Since the watershed that supplies Lake Galahad extends north of Woodville on the western edge it will take considerably longer for the level to drop sufficiently to re-open Lakewood across Galahad Dam.

Charmaine Dam continues to carry a full load of runoff. The water depth across the dam is about 5 inches at the time of this Update. The advisory group for the street closures is hopeful that the level will drop overnite so Camelot Drive over Charmaine Dam can be opened to traffic early Thursday (also pending additional rainfall overnite).

There are several peripheral streets that have had water overflowing the capacity of the culverts during the heaviest down pours from Harvey. The result is moderate to severe erosion causing washouts that stretch along and across the streets. Caution is advised until the streets have dried sufficiently for the city to arrange for grading the streets. Due to the amount of water saturation it will likely be over a week before the streets can be graded. Please bear with us for the time it takes to get the streets leveled and potholes patched.

The phone line to the city office is not functioning. Please call the Ivanhoe Marshal phone number (409) 283-2223 if you need to contact the city or law enforcement. Overnight any emergency should be called to the Tyler County Sheriff dispatch at (409) 283-2172. Just be mindful that the dispatchers are very busy with issues all over the County. For emergencies call 911.

A side note: if you have friends, family or others who are anywhere near the Neches River below the dam at Town Bluff, please make sure they know they need to get out now or they will likely perish. The gates at Dam B are being opened to extreme flood stage, and the downstream flooding will be extensive.

The next Ivanhoe Update will be at 9 AM Thursday 8/31/17. (With hopefully good news on water levels across our streets).

Ivanhoe Update: 9 AM 8/31/17

All of the streets in Ivanhoe have been opened to traffic this morning. The only street that still has water running across it is Lakewood Drive at Tristan Dam. There is about 5 inches of water across the street and it is going down quickly.

The city crew is evaluating the streets for any damage from the heavy rain. Thus far, warning barricades have been placed on Ivanhoe Dr. at the culvert below Lake Ivanhoe Dam (near the former Ivanhoe store/Mama’s Kitchen) where the street edge has was eroded, Robinhood Lane where a sinkhole developed and a 5 ft. by 5ft. washout developed. A large oak is being cleared from Nottingham. Any other locations where barricades are placed will be posted later today in a final Hurricane Harvey Update.

The most urgent concern in Ivanhoe is the BOIL WATER NOTICE that was issued Wednesday by Monarch Water. The areas for the BOIL WATER NOTICE are: Sherwood Forest Dr., Little John, Oakford Ln./Oakford Dr., Buckingham, Friar Tuck, Marion Dr., Wickford, Nottingham, Sherwood Forest West, Robin hood, Sherwood Forest North, Marion North, Friar Tuck North, 27th Street, 28th, 23rd Street, 24th Street, Lakeview Dr., Yorkshire, West Forest Dr., Winchester, Hickory Circle, Lady Georgie, Galahad Estates, Sir Charles, Sir Henry, and Queens Circle. There are approximate 235 customers affected by the BOIL WATER NOTICE. Monarch Water has repair crews working on the broken main at this time. The BOIL WATER NOTICE will remain in effect until the water samples come back clear of contamination.

The City has received no report of anyone harmed during the emergency in Ivanhoe. Some homes in the vicinity of the City Hall had water flow up to the building. Unknown if the water got into any buildings.

The Ivanhoe City Council and staff appreciate all the volunteers who helped during the disaster, the Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Dept. for the long hours at the street closure locations and assisting with medical and other emergency transports. Ms. Jill Longtin, Ms. Lisa Richardson, The Tyler County Emergency Management office staff for getting the Ivanhoe Updates pushed out to keep our residents and property owners informed during the disaster.

Next Ivanhoe Update (the Final Harvey Update) will be at 5 PM 8/31/17

Ivanhoe Update: 5 PM 8/31/17

27 inches of rain is the total as recorded by our Supervisor of Dams from Saturday 8/26 to this morning 8/31 associated with Hurricane Harvey (which was downgraded to a Tropical Storm by the time it came closest to Ivanhoe) .

While the damage to Ivanhoe pales in comparison to what other cities experienced, the cost to repair and rebuild will be huge. Many streets that had been in reasonable shape or not so anymore. Streets that were in rough shape (literally and figuratively) before the flood now look and drive like a minefield. The cost for material will be huge, and the time for getting repairs done will be lengthy. We ask that you bear with the city as the public works dept. works on rebuilding our streets. As soon as the dirt streets dry sufficiently they will be graded.

The dams also took a beating, and held up as designed. To make sure the dams continue to provide a safe base for traffic, the city will be hiring a professional engineer for an assessment of each of the dams that have a road surface.

As a result of the disruption from the storm, the Ivanhoe Fire Dept. will not have the Labor Day weekend Fish Fry fundraiser, and the Ivanhoe Civic Club will not have their Bake Sale. Both groups depend on the fundraiser to support community activities. Consider them for donations that will benefit the community as a whole.

While the City does not have a curfew in effect during the rebuilding after the storm, our City Marshal will be especially on alert for any type of unusual activity. Neighbors can be very helpful in keeping an eye for strange vehicles or things happening in the neighborhood. The City Marshal phone number is (409) 283-2223. If there is an urgent need for law enforcement when the Marshal is not on duty, call the Tyler County Sheriff dispatch at (409)283-2172. If you have an emergency call 911.

With all the streets re-opened to traffic, the city office phone number functioning again (409) 283-3299, things are beginning to return to normal for city functions.

Property owners in the “peninsula” central area of the city continue without water pressure. Monarch Water repair crews have been working thru the day in saturated soil to repair water main breaks. As of 4:30 PM today equipment that was being used for the repairs on Nottingham was bogged down so the repair will take longer than expected.

Local Sanitation will be running on their regular schedule on Monday, Sept. 4th (Labor Day). The company will pick up an additional bag or two if the opening is tied closed and placed beside the garbage can.

Should the need arise the City will provide an update via the same source that you have received the updates during the storm event. We wish you the best for Labor Day.


Ivanhoe Update: 10 AM 9/1/17

Due to the loss of power thru-out the City, this Update is being provided based on the most up to date information we have. The Entergy transmission line that provides power to Ivanhoe and most of Tyler County and surrounding counties broke. Entergy crews are trying to locate the break. Sam Houston is not involved with repair of the transmission line so we are waiting for Entergy. The report as of 10 AM indicates 12 to 24 hours before power is restored. With power out at service stations, it is recommended that folks conserve fuel.

Monarch Water restored water pressure to residents in the “peninsula” area of the city late yesterday. Monarch staff had verified prior to the arrival of Harvey that the emergency generators at the well sites were ready in the event of power outage. We are awaiting a response on the status of the generators now. The BOIL WATER NOTICE REMAINS IN EFFECT.

The recommendation is that residents conserve fuel due to the possibility of an extended power outage. The city is beginning implementation of the plan for food, water, and ice thru the Tyler County Emergency Management office. The supply line has not yet been established, so power may be restored before the supplies are available. Ivanhoe Fire Chief James Harman has verified that the Livingston and Lufkin Wal Marts are open (with power). A case of an individual requiring dialysis, means a trip to Lufkin instead of being able to have service in Woodville.

As additional information becomes available, we will provide it. The next Ivanhoe Update will be at 1 PM.

Ivanhoe Update: 2 PM 9/1/17

City Marshal Terry Riley reports that a power generator is being connected at the Woodville Wal Mart fuel station so the pumps will work this afternoon. Brookshire Brothers has a generator coming for powering the fuel pumps at Brookshire Brothers in Woodville. It might be cash only.

There has been no update on the progress of Entergy getting repairs done on the transmission line that serves the seven counties affected by the electric outage. We keep our fingers crossed that the optimistic estimate by 10 PM will prove true. The pessimistic estimate is Sunday. Again, the recommendation is to conserve fuel. The closest stores that are reported to be able to provide food and other supplies are in Livingston and Lufkin.

The Monarch Water representative reports a delay on the generator for the well site at Marion Dr. North that serves the central portion of the City. The representative says the water company is going to try getting a part from the emergency generator on Lancelot for use to pressurize the Marion Dr. North well which is better able to serve the entire City. THE BOIL WATER NOTICE WILL CONTINUE IN EFFECT UNTIL AT LEAST 24 HOURS AFTER POWER IS RESTORED.

There are still no supplies from the Emergency Management Office. Note: This is not the fault of the Tyler county Emergency Management officials, they are trying. The likely scenario is that the supplies are being prioritized to the 118,000 people in Beaumont who do not have water or power.

The Woodville United Methodist Church has buckets containing cleaning supplies for individuals who need such.

The next Ivanhoe Update will be at 6 PM 9/1/17.

Ivanhoe Update: 6 PM 9/1/17

Tyler County Sheriff’s Dept. informs us the information in the 2 PM report that Woodville Wal Mart and Woodville Brookshire Brothers were arranging for generators to power the fuel pumps was incorrect. You will need to check elsewhere for fuel until electric service is restored.

Good news reported by Monarch Water representative; the emergency generator for the large well on Marion Drive North is now repaired and the water system for the central portion of the City is being re-pressurized. Water should be available within the next hour if you do not have it now. Parts had to be flown in from Louisiana for the generator repair according to the Monarch representative. As a result of the loss of water pressure, Monarch Water has POSTED NOTICE TO BOIL WATER UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, FOR ALL OF IVANHOE.

For the electrical outage—–this is the latest from Sam Houston Electric Coop: As of 2:45 p.m., the problem on the Entergy’s transmission line that went out of service last night has been located. Crews are on site, and working to make repairs to the equipment. Once repairs have been made, Sam Houston EC crews will begin to re-energize affected areas. We will keep posting updates when more progress has been made.

For the updates by Sam Houston Electric Coop, you can go to www.samhouston.net

Several folks have called and said they heard that streets are closed in Ivanhoe. All of the streets are open to traffic in Ivanhoe. There are several streets that have large washouts or deep potholes, please drive cautiously. The city crew has been busy patching potholes on Chanticleer, will continue patching on Lakewood Saturday. Charmaine Dr. East and Charmaine Dr. South will be patched as soon as Lakewood is done. The patching is for holes over a half inch deep so the worst places are being taken care of first, the crew will return to take care of the shallower holes later.

The Emergency Management Office just notified the City that ice is being delivered. It will be available at the City Hall/Community Center. The Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Fighters will be manning the distribution. At this time food (MRE’s) or bottled water is not available.

We have been notified by the Ivanhoe Property Owners Improvement Association that the lakes may not be safe due to contamination from flood waters and possible sewage. Any swimming, skiing or other exposure to lake water is done at your own risk.

The next Ivanhoe Update will be at 9 AM 9/2/17.

Ivanhoe Update: 9 AM 9/2/17

Electricity returned to Ivanhoe shortly after 9PM 9/1/17. Water pressure was restored for the central portion of Ivanhoe beginning the late afternoon of 9/1/17 after Monarch Water got a replacement shaft for the generator on Marion Dr. North. THE BOIL WATER NOTICE WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF IVANHOE until the water samples indicate there is no contamination. Usually it is at least 24 hours from when the system is fully pressurized. The Monarch representative said the earliest he will get the lab results back will be Sunday 9/3/17 afternoon. To assist the community with having drinking water while the BOIL WATER NOTICE is in effect, Tyler County Emergency Management has arranged for an 18 wheeler load of bottled water and an 18 wheeler load of ice. The water and ice can be picked up at the Ivanhoe City Hall/Civic Center. The Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Dept. will be dispensing the water and ice from 9 to 5 daily as long as the BOIL WATER notice is posted.

This is Labor Day weekend and “usually” there are a large number of property owners who are non-residents who take advantage of the long weekend to spend on the lakes. Due to the storm event of the past week, this is not a “usual” Labor Day weekend. The Ivanhoe Property Owners Improvement Association has submitted notice that the lakes may not be safe due to contamination from flood waters and possible sewage. Items floating in the water are hazards that may not be visible. Any swimming, skiing or other exposure to lake water is done at your own risk. There will be heavy runoff at the dam spillways for several more days. Please do not get near the fast moving water, or below the dams. We have had no injuries or deaths reported from the storm in Ivanhoe, we want to keep it that way.

With electricity restored, most businesses in Woodville have resumed normal hours. Gas is available.

It will take the city public works crew several weeks to get the streets patched. If you find any large holes in a street that has not been barricaded, please call the Ivanhoe City Hall at (409) 283-3299, or email at cityofivanhoe@gmail.com.

The next Ivanhoe Update will be when Monarch Water notifies the City that the BOIL WATER NOTICE has been lifted.

Sept. 11 – Notice of Tax Revenue Increase

The City Council conducted public hearings on 9/5/2017 and 9/8/2017 on a proposal to increase the total tax revenues of the City of Ivanhoe from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 7.4 percent.

The total tax revenue proposed to be raised last year at last year’s tax rate of .76245 for each $100 of taxable value was $430,088.26.

The total tax revenue proposed to be raised this year at the proposed tax rate of .76245 for each $100 of taxable value, excluding tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, is $459,020.40.

The total tax revenue proposed to be raised this year at the proposed tax rate of .76245 for each $100 of taxable value, including tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year, is $462,638.66.

The Ivanhoe City Council is scheduled to vote on the tax rate that will result in that tax increase at a public meeting to be held on 9/14/17 at the Buck Priest Community Center, 870 Charmaine Dr. East, Ivanhoe, TX. at 6:30 PM.

The Ivanhoe City Council proposes to use the increase in total tax revenue for the purpose of maintaining streets and dams, providing law enforcement and judicial service and general operations of the City.

Sept. 28 – Ivanhoe Dam

There have been inquiries regarding the situation with Ivanhoe Dam.

As many of you already know, all dams in the State of Texas are regulated under the guidelines of TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality). TCEQ was advised immediately of the dam failure and representatives were here the 5th of September to inspect the dam and get back with us with their recommendations/requirements regarding the repairing/rebuilding of the dam.

We have not gotten their report as yet, but as soon as it is received we will consult with engineers to get an estimate for the recommended work.

At that point, with our options more clearly defined, a Town Hall Meeting will be called to share all of the information we have gathered regarding our options.

Until we get the report from TCEQ, there is no way that we are able to make any determination.

FYI… An application for FEMA assistance has been submitted. While the dam is privately owned by the IPOIA, it is within the city limits and we are hoping that that could provide reason to be eligible for assistance but there is no guarantee.

Karen Sikora, President, IPOIA
Cathy Bennett, Mayor, City of Ivanhoe


Oct. 13 – Townhall Meeting

Dear Neighbors,

We will be holding a Town Hall Meeting at 11:30 AM on Saturday the 14th following the IPOIA Meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to get feedback from our citizens regarding their experience during Hurricane Harvey.

In order to better serve our community in the event of future emergencies, we feel it is important to share our experiences. This meeting is EXCLUSIVELY to discuss this matter. We cannot address any other issues since this is the only item on the agenda for this meeting.

Please plan on attending. We look forward to hearing from you.

Your mayor,
Cathy Bennett

Oct. 20 – FYI (For Your Information)…

It has come to our attention that many residents are unaware of City Ordinances, and therefore we have decided to periodically post information about specific ordinances so that our citizens can be made aware of them.

Our first FYI is in regard to pool enclosures:

City Ordinance 154.138 requires that all pools be enclosed. If you have questions regarding the requirements, please contact the City. You may also review Texas Local Government Code 54.001.

The penalty for non-compliance may be $100.00 per day.

To view our City Ordinances, click here. (The ordinances are under the “Government” tab, above, and are very easy to search.)