The Austin American Statesman is reporting that thousands of Texans are waiting for licenses and license renewals from the Department of State Health Services. The agency suffered a flood from a broken pipe in one of its offices.
Two weeks after a burst pipe caused flooding that shut down a state health department building in Austin, thousands of people and businesses across Texas are waiting for licenses and permits. It’s affecting professionals from mold assessors to massage therapists and businesses from tanning salons to tattoo parlors.
Those waiting say the delay is causing confusion or, worse, throwing their career plans off track. They say they can’t get through by phone, the department’s e-mail response time is slow and that the Web site contains little information to help them.
A spokesman for the Department of State Health Services could not say how large the backlog is. But spokesman Doug McBride did say that the department processes applications for about 500 people and 100 facilities each day, so potentially 6,000 applications could be stuck. The department isn’t processing any applications now, he said.
According to the Agency’s website, licenses will not relapse. Also, the agency is sending letters out to some:
McBride said the department last week started sending letters that current licenseholders can use to prove their license has been extended.
They are also sending letters that new applicants can use to show they’ve met the requirements for certification or licensure, he said.
McBride said about 100 letters have been sent to people who have “an urgent need to get their license.”
But those letters have reached just a fraction of the people waiting.