Water woes spread across East Texas following freeze

By Jena Johnson - email

CHIRENO, TX (KTRE) - It's been days since Chireno residents have had running water.

"What's the old saying?" said Raymond Wicker, an employee at Chireno ISD. "You never miss the water until the well goes dry. Well that's true."

The weekend's freeze have busted pipes, which have drained many communities' well supply.

"What really bothers you is you can't take a bath," Wicker said. "There's just a little bit coming out, but it's affected all of us."

"Expect to go in there and brush our teeth and we have no water pressure so we're looking in the refrigerator trying to find some water or just use it without water, a dried up toothbrush," said Leslie Fountain, of Chireno Grocery & Cafe.

A dried-up town spells big problems, including no school and no work for Wicker.

"We had to shut the school down today on the count that the pressure is so low and you can't open the school because of sanitation problems," Wicker said.

It's not just Chireno. Melrose, San Augustine, Trinity, Groveton and Alto have all had water issues.

"A lot of people have concerns," City Administrator Steven Spencer said. "Especially those who don't have drinking water who may not have stocked up at home."

With a town full of people with no water or low water pressure, it's kept Chireno Grocery & Cafe busy.

"People come in and out, even after hours, seeing if we have bottle water, jugs of water and of course we do," Fountain said. "We kept it stocked."

But that supply is diminishing. Shelves are half full. Wicker hopes the water returns soon so he can go back to work.

"I just got a day off!" Wicker said. "Another day off."

But he'd rather have the water on.

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