Odessa, Texas Residents Help Each Other Overcome Water Shortage After System Breaks amid Heat Wave

Temperatures reached 100 degrees in the city as water remained off for more than two days due to the "major" water main break

Odessa, Texas Residents Help Each Other Overcome Water Shortage After System Breaks amid Heat Wave
Photo: Odessa Police Department/Facebook

Residents of Odessa, Texas rallied together to help one another this week after a water main broke while a major heat wave impacted the area.

The city announced Tuesday that a 24-inch water main had broken late Monday night at the intersection of 42nd and San Jacinto. A boil water advisory was issued, and residents were to "minimize" their use of water to "only necessities" while repairs were made.

The taps of around 165,000 homes and businesses either lost pressure or went completely dry as a result, the Associated Press reported.

The Odessa Police Department shared photos and aerial footage of the "major" water main break on their Facebook page showing water gushing into the roadway.

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"It's an aging infrastructure that we're seeing," Deputy City Manager Phillip Urrutia told the AP. "It's a cast iron pipe, and so those are typically more susceptible to breaks than other new technologies like PVC pipe that's going in the ground."

Without water as temperatures reached 100 degrees, locals worked together to ensure everyone had access to the water they needed.

On Wednesday, members of the OPD and Odessa Fire Rescue linked up with Odessa leaders and other individuals to give out water to members of the community. The Ector County Coliseum was also used as a water distribution site.

Odessa, Texas Residents Help Each Other Overcome Water Shortage After System Breaks amid Heat Wave
Odessa Police Department/Facebook

"People say it time and time again, we have some of the best people around in West Texas," the department said on Facebook alongside photos from the event.

Meanwhile, OPD recruits delivered water to seven different nursing homes across the city, dropping off palettes of water at a time.

"We are always working hard to serve our citizens," the department wrote on Facebook alongside images of the recruits' efforts.

Additionally, the OPD said "numerous citizens" donated water and other assistance to the Odessa Animal Shelter. Joe Edward with Permian Basin Metal Lab donated a water container, while Michelle Falcon with Grandview Vet donated 150 gallons of water.

One woman, Crystal Carson, drove an hour from Kermit, Texas just to donate water, per the OPD.

Odessa, Texas Residents Help Each Other Overcome Water Shortage After System Breaks amid Heat Wave
Odessa Police Department/Facebook

"Our staff has also been working around the clock to make sure they have plenty of water," the department wrote on Facebook, adding, "We are grateful!"

In another Facebook post, the OPD praised those working on the water main break for their hard work, writing "we continue to highlight our heroes" beside a photo of two workers tending to the issue.

"A big shout out to those who worked nonstop on fixing the water line break," the department added.

Odessa, Texas Residents Help Each Other Overcome Water Shortage After System Breaks amid Heat Wave
Odessa Police Department/Facebook

Early Thursday morning, Odessa officials announced that the city's water plant "is back online and pressurizing" after being mended. At that time, some residents in lower elevations had already regained access to water, but the city said "getting water to the higher elevations is taking longer than anticipated."

Residents were still asked to boil water until 24 hours after the system is fully restored.

"Drinking water has not been an issue," Odessa resident Nikki Friday told the AP. "We just need water to return to our daily lives and within the community."

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