Longview public works director gives play-by-play on what happened to water system

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 10:18 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A major East Texas city’s boil water notice is now in its second day.

But Longview mayor Andy Mack says the city’s water system is back up and running and all towers are full.

Water sample testing is underway, and we’ve now learned the notice could be lifted as soon as Friday.

On Thursday night, Longview Public Works Director Dwayne Archer gave a breakdown exactly what happened to cause the situation with the city’s water, from the search for the initial leak, which was found under a bridge, to citizens needing to flush their lines; check out the video below.

Thousands of cases of bottled water were delivered to the Longview fairgrounds to help citizens through the boil water period.

“We have a lot of water bottles to give out. And once we give out all these water bottles we’re going to have a giant tanker full of drinkable water, so it’s going to be kind of bring your own jug situation, where people bring their own water container, they can just fill that up and take it,” says city of Longview public information officer Richard Yeakley.

A 30-inch water main break Tuesday night closed restaurants, businesses medical offices in Longview the following day.

Loss of business revenue, and hampered plans for upcoming events.

“It’s a huge week for us, we have Art Walk tomorrow night. Friday and Saturday are right around the corner. That’s one of our biggest nights of the month. It could potentially be a huge disaster for us,” said restaurant owner Judd Byrnes of ‘Judds Downtown Cafe’.

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Two water giveaways on Wednesday, depleted delivered water in less than 2 hours.

A massive 120 pallets of water delivered by Brookshires Thursday.

“We saw yesterday kind of the appetite people have for it. Both our lines here at the convention center and the mall were slammed all day. While were under this boil water notice, we’re going to make sure that people who need drinkable water, will have access to drinkable water,” Yeakley says.

“We had a few of them asking for 2 or 3 cases. And some are coming more than one family per car, so we try to take care of them also,” said water distribution volunteer Derrick Daniels.

Whether the aging infrastructure or the effects of ‘snomaggedon’, the city turns now to finding out how the water break happened.

“As we move forward, we’re going to take a look and see exactly what happened, and see what we can do as much as we can to prevent something like this from happening in the future,” says Yeakley.

In conjunction with an East Texas food bank distribution, water will also be given out Friday morning starting at eight at Maude Cobb convention center.

Mayor Mack said public works will be flushing lines Thursday to clean them out. He said this means you will see water coming out of fire hydrants during the flushing process in the morning and afternoon.

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