Kentwood still struggling with impacts from freeze earlier in week

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 7:21 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

KENTWOOD- It's been more than a day since the town saw freezing temperatures, but the Welcome Center on I-55 is still closed, schools shipped in bottled water for classes and some businesses remain closed due to the cold's effects on the town's water supply. 

"With people running water to protect their pipes from freezing, our system wasn't able to keep up with it for the two days that happened," said Town Maintenance Superintendent David Sellers.
 
Jam Fried Chicken and Seafood decided to tough out the lower water pressure and subsequent boil water notice, but it hasn't been easy.
 
Assistant Manager Gwendolyn Stewart said, "We're had to boil water to make tea, we can't serve any sodas. We use bleach for our cleaning and we have to boil that water as well."
 
The town maintenance director says he wasn't able to test the water for safety until the pressure returned to the recommended level, so the town is still in limbo through at least the rest of Thursday. City leaders say the key to preventing this issue in the future is to get another well and they say that process is underway right now.
 
"We recognize it doesn't get cold here all the time, but when it does, there's a dire need to have adequate water for our emergency protection and all," said Mayor Harold Smith.
 
But Stewart, who was also affected by the water issue at home, enough to go stay with a relative, hopes for a resolution to the present problem first.
 
"Soon, very soon," she said.
 
The town expects to get results on the water’s safety tomorrow morning and will address the boil water notice then. DOTD says it plans to re-open the Welcome Center on I-55 if the water pressure returns to normal, as expected.

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