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Dallas, TX
Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Thousands of Texans Left Without Water

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Water running from a chrome faucet. | Photo by Zefart via Shutterstock

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Amid a brutal heatwave, Odessa residents were left without water for days despite soaring temperatures after a critical transmission line burst on Monday afternoon.

The 24-inch water main broke in the area of E. 42nd Street, San Jacinto St., and N. Tom Green Ave., according to local News West 9. Crews worked hard to repair the line and restore service quickly.

The burst impacted a reported 165,000 households and businesses. The population of roughly 133,000 scrambled to find water for drinking and bathing.

While temperatures climbed past 100 degrees, tanker trucks were brought into neighborhoods to allow residents to fill containers, and the city provided water to vulnerable places like nursing homes and hospitals. A notice urged everyone to boil their water before consumption.

During a Wednesday press conference, the City of Odessa announced the line should be fixed before the evening. However, the city’s water treatment plant was also shut down, meaning residents would have to wait an estimated 12 to 14 additional hours until the plant was brought back online. Workers would monitor the lines and check to ensure there were no more leaks. During this time, the boil water notice remained in place for at least 24 hours and would likely be in effect until Friday, Public Works Director Thomas Kerr said.

Lifelong Odessa resident Lynda Wright told the Associated Press that she had thrown a hose into the water line to get enough for washing hands and brushing teeth. “I just hope that they kind of learned we need to get in there; we need to check these lines and repair those that show signs of age and wear and tear,” Wright said.

“I want to assure you that we’re utilizing every resource at our disposal to ensure that we get this community back to the way it was before this massive line break,” stated City Manager Michael Marrero on Wednesday. Deputy City Manager Phillip Urrutia added that the burst line was an older cast-iron style, making it more susceptible to issues than a modern PVC line.   

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