CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It was a rough week for everyone. For some, the nightmare goes on. Many students in Odem are trying to work around not having water because plumbers are all booked up or there are no supplies to do it themselves.
"The lowest my house was, was about 42 degrees," Madison Vela said, a senior at Odem High School. "We lost power on Monday night and didn’t get it back until about Thursday evening. Just stacked as many blankets on as you could. Huddled together with my family in the living room was absolutely essential."
Vela said her family was forced to find a way to survive.
For the students in Odem, they have their school district to lean on. The district continues to look for ways to care for those struggling, with food, water and shelter.
"We still have a lot of the kids that—who’s houses, the plumbing has not been fixed," Yolanda Carr said, superintendent of Odem-Edroy ISD. "Therefore they don’t have access to showers and laundry machines. And so the school is privately providing that for them.
But overall they're in good spirits. They've been able to jump right back in to paying softball, baseball and even participating in the playoffs for basketball."
With much of the community without water, a water donation event was held at the high school. The students were the ones to help pass it out.
"Most of them were more worried about other people than themselves," Carr said. "And that says a lot for them because we try to encourage community service."
While the school district looks for more water and food for students that need it, plumbers have been working day and night to get to as many homes as they can.
Gov. Greg Abbott is allowing help to come from out of state. Plumbers outside Texas can get a temporary license. Apprentices also had some requirements loosened.
"We’ve had contact with other local unions who have people available to come to Texas to work, that are licensed plumbers in their respective states," Glen Kirkham said, director of marketing & recruitment of Plumbers Local Union 68. "So, hopefully if we need any help we can call on them and they’d be glad to come.
The union serves a 62 county area around the gulf coast. The issue that remains is the shortage on materials. So, contractors are now ordering supplies from out of state.The union serves a 62 county area around the gulf coast. The issue that remains is the shortage on materials. So, contractors are now ordering supplies from out of state.
Make sure you ask for a plumbing license. Make sure the work is being done by a licensed plumber. Take pictures of before and after. And keep all that stuff documented.”
The union serves a 62 county area around the gulf coast. The issue that remains is the shortage on materials. So, contractors are now ordering supplies from out of state.
"We haven’t even began to knock this out yet," Kirkham said. "It’s going to take awhile."
If you are in need of a plumber, the union has a program. You can get a referral at plumbers911.com. O-E ISD is also asking any community members or corporate partners that can help the students with food water or hygiene products, you can call the superintendent's office.