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Arkansas community harmed by frigid weather receiving emergency water from the National Guard



Wilmar, Arkansas – Truckloads of water are being delivered by the National Guard to areas that are in dire need of it for drinking, bathing, and flushing.

Some areas of Arkansas are still in an emergency condition despite the warming weather. One such community is Wilmar. Wilmar resident Julia Daugherty gave a speech about the challenges the community is dealing with.

“You can’t flush the toilet. We went up to my daughter’s to take a shower,” Daugherty said. “When you don’t have no water, it’s kind of rough.”

Daugherty is one of the many people who tried to keep their pipes protected by keeping water running during days of subfreezing weather, but the water pressure gradually decreased until it eventually stopped.

“Just a drip,” Daugherty showed when turning on hot water in her kitchen sink on Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, Drew County officials issued an emergency declaration as the city purchased 500 containers of bottled water for every residence. The public restrooms of the community center were also made available.

The 800-gallon tanker that the National Guard supplied on Tuesday has already been reloaded once. Anyone in need can go to the Wilmar Community Center and fill up because it is filled with drinking water.

Before an interview, Wilmar resident Edward Hunter filled a five-gallon bucket.

“People got to cook, bathe, keep their sewage going. It’s a form of survival,” Hunter stated.

Takendra Webb, the city’s treasurer, and his neighbors have been looking for a solution as he and his neighbors have been pleading with Santa for running water.

“A lot of people have had leaks, and they don’t realize they have leaks, and the leaks are running, and they are draining the tower,” Webb said.

Webb, other municipal employees, and volunteers have been inspecting city water lines and going door to door on Christmas Day to look for leaks outside of homes since 7:00 a.m.

“So just be patient and understanding that we are doing everything in our power to get this water going,” Webb asked.

According to water department records, Wilmar’s water use rose and then tripled between December 24 and December 26.

In an effort to attempt and replenish the water tower supply, the city intends to turn off the water Tuesday night. They will clean the system after it is full to remove any impurities that may have entered because of the low water pressure.

However, everyone is under a boil order until further notice as the water tower is refilled.