OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Congresswoman Kendra Horn called upon Congress to help Americans who face water shutoffs and high water bills, stressing the need for water in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Horn (OK-5) asked congressional leadership to include funds in an upcoming stimulus package to provide relief to citizens who struggle with water shutoffs and bills, according to a news release issued from Horn’s office.
The stimulus package will be put together in consideration of how coronavirus impacts the national economy and poses health and economic challenges to American families, according to the news release.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people regularly wash their hands with soap and water to protect against contracting coronavirus.
The news release cited a water crisis report that lists Oklahoma City and Tulsa as two of the top cities in the nation in which residents experience high water shutoff rates due to unpaid bills.
“Any stimulus package Congress considers must help those Oklahomans who are most in need,” Horn said. “Keeping water on and giving everyone access to wash their hands regularly is a critical step we can take to increase healthy practices in our communities. The fact that thousands of families in Oklahoma City have no access to clean water at home is a tragedy, and it puts Oklahomans at risk. Now is the time for everyone to put politics aside and come to a bipartisan, bicameral stimulus agreement that delivers relief and necessary resources as quickly as possible.”
Oklahoma City had a 14 percent water shutoff rate in 2016, with 26,500 households experiencing shutoffs, making Oklahoma City the city with the seventh highest water shutoff rate in the nation, according to the report.
Tulsa, however, was second in the nation in 2016 with a 20 percent shutoff rate that saw water service shutoff from 23,903 households, according to the report.