Utah plumbing crew helps Angelina County homeowners with winter weather repairs

East Texas News at 10pm, Saturday 10-10:35 p.m., RECURRING - VOD - clipped version

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - With the demand for plumbing work so high, some plumbers from out of state are in East Texas to help with repairs.

East Texas News Weekend’s T’Ebonie Tanner has more on how they are hard at work, over a thousand miles away from home.

“It was super bad. It was super bad. My whole front yard was full of water,” said Cowella Johnson, a Lufkin homeowner.

For Johnson, a lot of things needed to be fixed at her home after the winter storm moved through.

“It just so happened that when the winter got here all the pipes froze and burst,” Johnson explained.

A non-profit organization called Neighborhood Strong is stepping in to help Johnson’s family by fixing the pipes for free.

They partnered with Imperial Plumbing, a crew all the way from Utah. Owner Frank Hatch said they traveled more than 1,000 miles to Texas to help after hearing how the winter weather affected the community.

A crew with Imperial Plumbing traveled all the way from Utah to help East Texas homeowners make repairs in the wake of the recent catastrophic winter weather.
A crew with Imperial Plumbing traveled all the way from Utah to help East Texas homeowners make repairs in the wake of the recent catastrophic winter weather. (Source: KTRE)

“We are used to it in Utah. We live in freezing temperatures all the time. Our houses are plumbed different,” Hatch added.

“We have had a great need in Angelina county. Many elderly people on a fixed income are not able to repair their broken pipes and all that is busted,” said Kenneth Campbell, the projects manager for Neighborhood Strong.

Crews have completed 17 out of 50 projects so far, each one bringing some much-needed relief to homeowners.

“Mainly getting the frozen pipes fixed, so they have hot water,” Campbell said.

“So, we’ve had easy fixes from a couple lines to we’ve had to re-pipe water hot and cold throughput the whole house,” Hatch explained.

Hatch said it has been a challenging process.

“It could be an easy one but we’re finding is that it’s not. Pipes are shattered broken,” Hatch said. “We will fix one and move on the next. Or fire up the water and find another leak, and then another and another.”

The work continues for this out-of-state crew, as they try to lend a hand to a still recovering area.

While working on a project this week, hatch says they saved an elderly woman from going into diabetic shock, due to lack of water for two weeks.

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