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Odessa, Texas, remains without water as temperatures soar

Odessa city crews
Posted at 10:48 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 11:48:31-04

ODESSA, Texas — Residents of the West Texas city of Odessa remained without water Wednesday as crews worked to restore service amid scorching temperatures in the area.

The city water system’s 165,000 customers’ taps lost pressure or went completely dry after the 24-inch (61-centimeter) main broke Monday afternoon, according to the city’s social media pages. Odessa Mayor Javier Joven declared a state of emergency and issued a boil-water notice for the system’s customers that still had water, effective until further notice.

Temperatures Wednesday were predicted to approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) as Texas — like much of the United States — faced extremely hot and humid conditions this week.

City officials said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that drinkable water could be restored later Wednesday but that the water system needed to be turned back out carefully to avoid any additional breaks.

The city, which is located about 330 miles (530 kilometers) west of Dallas, planned to distribute water to residents at Ector County Coliseum as well as deliver water to nursing homes.

Water tankers were placed strategically around the city to respond to any fires, said Deputy City Manager Phillip Urrutia.

“It’s an aging infrastructure that we’re seeing. It’s a cast iron pipe, and so those are typically more susceptible to breaks than other new technologies like PVC pipe that’s going in the ground,” he said.