“On Thursday, an employee at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, where the [historic battleship] Texas is moored, noticed the 96-year-old ship was sitting lower in the water than usual when he left the park,” reported the Houston Chronicle.
“The next morning when he got back, it was noticeably deeper,” said Mike Cox, spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department… “He and other staff went below deck and found the ship was taking on water — to use nautical speak.”
“A combination of a pump failure and leaks — at least one new one — had caused the ship to take on at least 105,000 gallons of water and sink nearly three feet into the channel.” Replacement pumps and, get this, a rag stuffed into the new leak, had the ship righted by Saturday and stabilized on Sunday with tours of the ship ongoing.
In 1988 the Texas was towed to Galveston for $14 million in restoration. And about three years ago voters approved bonds that included $25 million to dry-berth the ship. The dry berth is scheduled for 2014 – one hundred years from the ship’s original commissioning.
Maybe it’s all a metaphor for the state’s budget. We’ll get through this upcoming shortfall but long term, if the free-flowing, with your money, leaks of Federal programs such as Medicaid aren’t stopped from growing, Texas will find itself sinking in the manner many other states are now.
Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com