Hundreds of Tangipahoa residents without water since Friday; company blames freeze, growing demand
TANGIPAHOA PARISH - Dustin Kelley and his family had a pretty inconvenient Christmas weekend, with no running water to wash dishes, take showers or clean clothes.
Since the Friday before Christmas, he's had to collect water from a lake at the front of his neighborhood so that his family can flush their toilets.
Their Tangipahoa Parish subdivision, Wolf Lakes, is one of many having water problems.
"Dirty dishes, no running water. This is going on 72 hours. I mean, nothing," Kelley said.
Wolf Lakes is one of many neighborhoods serviced by Eastern Heights Water Works. They supply water to Amite, Loranger and Independence.
"We're having trouble at this point with this well not keeping up with the demand," operator Joe Dupuy said.
Dupuy says there are simply just too many people using too much water. He hasn't had much rest during this whole ordeal.
"I've been going since day one, clocking the wells out every three hours and just running and just napping and keeping up to make sure they're running, and that's all I can do," he said.
The area, which is largely rural, has been expanding and modernizing, putting strain on the well. That coupled with the freeze has killed the water pressure.
"This area is constantly growing, and it's not going to get better," Kelley said. "You're going to have constant houses being added to the system, and just like every other utility, when demand increases, you've also got to increase supply to the people."
Dupuy has had to call in parish engineers for help, but the reality is that there just isn't enough water for the growing population.
"It's critical this time of year. You don't have water supply, you can't cook food, and it puts a strain on families, like my wife and kids," Kelley said. "And you got elderly people in here that don't have means of getting water, so what do you do in this situation?"
The latest information WBRZ received is that since the well was allowed to fill up overnight Monday, water has been restored to the area, though not at full pressure. Officials expect to have the system back to 100% within the next couple days as the cold snap lessens around Louisiana.
A boil advisory was issued for Eastern Heights customers Monday morning.
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