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'It's the town pulling together.' Volunteers brave the cold to help town get water flowing again

Posted at 8:49 PM, Feb 18, 2021

MARLIN, TX — Folks in the town of Marlin, Texas, have had it tougher than most, but it looks like they may be among the first to recover. How? Teamwork.

Marlin was hit early and hit hard by the arctic blast that has caused utility disruptions throughout Texas. Folks there got the double whammy of losing their water and power almost at the same time. They have struggled ever since.

But Thursday morning, a group of volunteers showed up at the water plant to get supplies unloaded to help get the water back on.

Terri Westmoreland's water went from a trickle to a drip more than once over the past week. As the city works to get water back on by morning, Westmoreland says she'll believe it when she sees it.

"I'm a little skeptical about the water tonight or tomorrow because we've been told this now for four days that we're going to have it, and that they get this part and they get that part and something else breaks," she said.

It's true, Marlin has suffered a litany of problems since the Texas deep freeze began.

”When it kicked into the generators, it was frozen, so of course the belts on the generator were frozen. The capacitors that actually push pressure through the water lines and things like that, it went ice. It got into some of the... some of the piping, it ruptured it actually and you can see where it just blew out,” said Cedric Davis, Marlin city manager.

That last problem proved so severe, it's taken days to locate parts to fix it.

Almost two dozen volunteers showed up at the Marlin Water Plant early Thursday to help unload replacement parts.

”We put out a call. We actually asked for about eight healthy bodies and we got 20, which was exciting to see. They helped lift some heavy, heavy plumbing off the trailer. Afterwards, we actually took them into the water plant and gave them a tour and showed the damage that Mother Nature did to the system,” said Davis.

They located one key part in Flower Mound on the other side of Dallas. A friend of a Marlin resident met Davis and the police chief half way to hand off the part.

”Repairs should be made by late Thursday night to the system, then they have to go through all the TCEQ protocol checks. If I were a betting man, I'd say tomorrow morning, we'll have the water running," Davis explained.

Even through the hardships, folks in the town can tell they have good neighbors.

”It's the town pulling together and we have definitely done that this time and the time before and it shows that we do care,” said Westmoreland.

Something upon which both residents and city leaders can agree.

”We're still standing. We still have strong leadership. We still have strong citizens. When it all comes down to it, at the end of the day, we band together to do what we got to do, and that's why Marlin, little ole Marlin, continues to be Marlin strong,” Davis explained.

This article was written by Dennis Turner for KXXV.