Following President Biden’s visit to winter storm ravaged Texas on Friday, the cleanup continues. The demand for plumbers across the state continues to grow as hundreds of people try to get broken pipes and damaged water heaters fixed.
(nats: "How ya'll doin'?")
Texas plumbing supply used to be just for the pros, plumbers. Now it’s for everyone, scouring stores everywhere for parts to get the water flowing.
Alfred Webster: "I'm so tired of running to places trying to find pieces you know. That's the thing about doing the job, you have to go here to there to there just to find one piece. If you go into Lowes and Home Depot right now I mean those shelves look like skeletons. Nobody got nothin'."
Alfred Webster works nights and has spent the last four days trying to fix busted pipes.
Miguel Marquez: "You fix one leak, then you find another one over there?" Alfred Webster: "Oh, man I done fixed five leaks so far." Miguel Marquez: "Five leaks so far?"
More than a week after a Texas sized chill bringing two days plus of sub freezing temperatures and widespread blackouts the hard reality of no running water pipes shattered and ruptured across the lone star state
Glenn Fuller: "In five days, on some items, we sold more in 5 days than we sold the entire year last year." Miguel Marquez: "Really?" Glenn Fuller: "In five days on certain items." (nats)
Modern plumbing company says it has fielded seven thousand inquiries, done 800 jobs and has another 500 on the books. Their crews working 24/7
Josh Hollub: "We have a very strong network of plumbers. They're proud people and they're working hard and a lot of people are going through and pulling the same strings that we are trying to things for folks and I'm proud to be part of that."
And it’s not just plumbers and plumbing supplies running short.
(nats: "Slow it down, slow it down!!")
The need for water and food… growing.
Tomeka Brewster: "There have been so many families coming through. They don't have water. Some families may not have light. It's been a great great need since this winter storm."
The Houston Food Bank on some days says it’s serving up more than a million pounds of food and water.
Miguel Marquez: "With the pandemic, with the storm how tough has it been?"
Glenda Rougeau: "Rough. Very rough."
Miguel Marquez: "Why? What are you out of? What are you missing?"
Glenda Rougeau: "Water. The thing is water and bread and luncheon meat and bacon and something and canned goods and everything."
The cold weather and storm long gone. The aftermaths only now coming into sharp focus.