HOUSTON – Five weeks ago, many Houstonians worked hard to fix any plumbing problems caused by the winter storm. Even so, many Houstonians are still grappling with the aftermath, struggling to complete repairs on broken pipes and dealing with low water pressure.
On Francis Street, in the heart of Houston’s historic third district, several residents said they were still suffering from storm damage.
Resident Freddie Alexander showed KPRC 2 16 broken pipes in his house.
“As a tenant, going through what we go through after freezing is very frustrating,” said Alexander.
Alexander said he had run out of water for weeks which was the initial fight. But now he’s still struggling to get repairs to the pipes and dealing with low water pressure. He relies on bottled water and other sources of water to make a decent living.
“The bottled water and the people helping each other alleviate the pain, but the frustrating part we are still trying to overcome is that there are still kinks that need to be worked out and worked out faster” so Alexander said.
Alexander and his neighbor said their landlord owns several lots in the area. Both said they still needed to be fixed.
Brandy Johnson, another tenant in the neighborhood, burst 36 pipes.
“We fought. It was bad. I took my kids to a hotel and we were kind of content with what we had, ”said Johnson.
However, she said that her landlord is doing the best he can and as quickly as he can. She said he had sympathy for him and knew he was trying to do his best even though he blew up the pipes himself.
“He’s a good landlord,” said Johnson. “Whenever I need help, he’s there. Every time our pipes broke because of our dogs, he would come and fix them. He showed us how to fix the pipes. “
She said her landlord, like many others, was having trouble getting supplies. Johnson said she even saw her landlord in the store. Johnson himself tried many business deals to get supplies. The mother of eight children, including three foster children, wanted to act quickly.
“I just took it on and we went to the hardware store. We went to several and they were all outside. We went to a couple of mom and pop stores here. We could get pipes and things we need. (My landlord) was actually in line behind us and we told him to stand in front of us so the pipes would help the other tenants, ”Johnson said. “Basically we repaired our own water ourselves and even gave (our landlord) some supplies.”
Alexander was less personable, however, and said some tenants had problems and had been for a while.
“If the landlord doesn’t have a backup plan, how can they expect their tenants to be safe?” Asked Alexander. “What can we really do at this point?”
He hopes the city, neighbors, landlords and nonprofits can work together as a team to find a solution.
“(I hope) things are done efficiently and Mayor Turner and Councilor Shabazz can work out a plan,” Alexander said.
Residents have partnered with the nonprofit Black United Fund of Texas to get help. They are also in contact with the city to discuss their options.
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