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Water, gas outages across East Feliciana left many residents high and dry this Christmas weekend

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A wave of water outages left many without necessities on Christmas weekend. On Monday, households across East Feliciana, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes are still dealing with the effects of not having running water.

As a slow drip on Friday gradually moved to no running water by Sunday afternoon, families like the Davids in the Bluff Creek community in East Feliciana were stuck without the necessities. 

"This is the third day we have not had running water," Darryl David said on Christmas Day.

By that afternoon, a trickle was coming from the kitchen faucet. David says that change didn't come until WBRZ started reaching out to the parish regarding the problem.

Darryl Buhler with Homeland Security has been monitoring the local water system. He says the parish infrastructure can't be blamed for the outages, but it was instead a result of the extreme cold temperatures.

But this still left many residents scrambling for water sources. For the Davids, a Christmas weekend without water put them in some tricky situations. A bucket of water from their neighbor's pool sat in their bathroom — something they had to have on hand just to be able to flush their toilets.

Despite residents saying the water system's failures are commonplace, amounting to long-term problems with the parish infrastructure, Homeland Security says this weekend's outages were unavoidable.

"They're blaming the water company for it, but the water company has been everyday working on their systems," Buhler said.

Still, some question that response. 

"I haven't seen it with my own eyes, and I've been up and down these roads for a mile and a half around here, and nobody has water," David said.

It's left residents demanding a new system, and Homeland Security says one is in the works. Buhler says improvements will include new connections to existing lines and a newly-equipped well system.

He says work on the local water system will continue over the next couple of months.


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