OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Imagine being without water during this Oklahoma heat wave. It’s a reality right now in Holdenville, a small town southeast of Oklahoma City.
“There’s no showers, there’s no laundry being done, the toilets aren’t getting flushed, the dishes aren’t getting washed,” explained resident Elizabeth Sarich. “We don’t have water for cooking except for what we went down to the store and bought.”
They’re calling it a water crisis in Holdenville, a town in Hughes County with about 5,700 residents.
“I have no water. None,” said Jackie Siegrist.
His faucets dried up on Monday. He’s now forced to stock up on five-gallon jugs from the store to cook and drink with and get water from his backyard swimming pool to flush out the toilets.
Holdenville officials told KFOR Tuesday that 2,000 to 3,000 people may be without water.
They said the cause was a busted water line that connects to a major water tank.
Mayor John Massad said on Monday afternoon they were losing 50,000 gallons of water every half-hour, and they couldn’t access the leak because it became submerged.
“We’re pumping water out and we’re going to examine the line,” he explained to KFOR.
The escaped water flowed through a wooded area near the Holdenville Airport and then formed into a sizeable pond. Massad estimated that pond was 100 to 200 feet across while being two or three feet deep.
Businesses shut down and residents expressed their struggles, being instructed to conserve as much water as they can in this sweltering July heat.
“This water problem makes me feel insecure for my family,” Sarich shared. “I have a severely disabled son. He has autism and mild cerebral palsy. I worry about providing for him and for his service dog.”
The mayor was on site as city officials and plumbers made repairs as quickly as possible.
“[My] household is also without water, too,” he said. “So, I understand the situation and we’re acting as quick as we can. We’re going to get this thing resolved and we’ll be back online.”
Late Tuesday night, Massad reported they had replaced the broken pipe. He explained their plan was to slowly fill back up the drained water tank to avoid any further issues, with hopes of residents getting water back by end of Tuesday or on Wednesday.