Bottled water distribution continued in Mineral Wells Tuesday afternoon as the city makes repairs to increase its tank levels and water pressure.
The city was placed under a boil water notice last week, which is required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality when water pressure drops to a certain point. The city of Mineral Wells is urging residents to limit non-essential water use at this time.
Volunteers posted up in the Center of Life and AJ Assembly parking lot placing a case of water inside each resident’s vehicle in a drive-thru fashion.
“As long as I have the ability and capacity, I will do this. I have this business here and I also have 18-wheelers and I brought a load of water in so we had it before [the city] started this,” AJ Assembly and AJ Transport owner Bubba Lusk said. “I have a forklift and the ability to help them set it up, so it just makes it easier for all of us. It’s what we should do, it’s what we’re here for.”
First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells Youth Pastor Caleb Crouch, who volunteered to distribute water, said his family was blessed never losing electricity or water.
“To be able to come out and pass that blessing on is great and it’s nice to be able to see those struggling get some sort of relief,” he said. “We live in a community that really reaches out and takes care of each other.”
Palo Pinto County is one of 77 counties in the state that is now eligible for public and individual assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to County Emergency Management Coordinator Mistie Garland.
“It’s going to be a 75/25 match, so they should be able to recoup 75% of anything spent — that’s going to include any labor, volunteer hours, equipment, anything like that needed to repair the water,” she said at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Palo Pinto County commissioners court. “As of [Monday], we have received five trucks [with bottled water]. There are 21 pallets on each truck for a total of 105 pallets and that’s 7,560 cases of water or 181,440 bottles of water.”
Garland added that the county has been able to distribute the majority of the pallets in the last two days — two pallets to Brazos, one to Gordon, six to Graford, one to Lake Palo Pinto, one to Lone Camp, seven to Mineral Wells, one to Palo Pinto, three to Possum Kingdom, nine to Santo, one to Strawn, two to Graford ISD, one to Palo Pinto ISD and two to Palo Pinto General Hospital.
“Mineral Wells was able to obtain a lot of water through the local bottling companies,” Garland said. “We do not have any anticipation on when the boil water notice will be lifted. I don’t see that that’s going to be in the near future.”
Garland said she will be working with all of the water districts and the municipalities in the county to help with the claims for public assistance.
At least three pallets of bottled water were handed out at Center of Life and AJ Assembly Tuesday afternoon.
“We have never had a sustained cold like this,” volunteer and 30-year Mineral Wells resident Ann Fielder said. “This is just an opportunity to serve and that’s what it’s really about.”
Resident Mel Kincaid, who said he was fortunate not to have a power or water outage, said “this is just a small way I can give back.”
The water distribution will continue at 2 p.m. in the Center of Life and AJ Assembly parking lot, 200 SW 5th Street, through Friday.