Austin, Texas – While the majority of Texans have electricity and water back, many residents in low-income areas and residential buildings still lack running water.
While the city of Austin gave the go-ahead to safely consume water after the winter storm, some apartment buildings are choosing to keep the water turned off to prevent further damage to apartment units from broken pipes.
“The water map has turned very green where there is drinking water all over the city. However, many apartment complexes, especially in low-income areas, have been running out of water for some time, ”said Bob Nicks, president of the Austin Firefighters Association (AFA).
The AFA and United Professional Organizers, as well as civilian volunteers, are joining forces to distribute water in the city to everyone who needs it. They call their mission Operation Water Way and answer the call of many Austinites who have been without running water for days. The group says it is the largest voluntary water distribution project in the city.
Merlene Felfe is a senior and lives in an apartment complex in North Austin. She is concerned about her general health without access to running water in her home.
“They don’t know when the water will turn on again because they don’t have enough plumbers to work on the pipes. It really stresses me out. With my high blood pressure, I could have a stroke or a heart attack. “Said Felfe
Jeffrey Maass volunteered for the operation from the start.
“It’s not just about bringing people drinking water. It is keeping people from losing their jobs and losing their lives,” he said.
Maas wants to help people like Felfe before the situation gets worse. As the need for water continues to grow, the group calls for more resources and volunteers.
To learn more about the water project or to volunteer, visit the website.