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Southern Iowa Residents Cope Without Drinking Water

CRESTON, Iowa-This weekend residents in seven southern Iowa counties have been altering their normal routines, due to a lack of drinkable water.

On Friday Southern Iowa Rural Water Association announced that it’s customers in Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Madison, Ringgold, Taylor, and Union Counties would need to boil water, before drinking.

On Saturday SIRWA reported the water plant was functioning properly, however the purification system was still down. The organization hopes to have an idea when it my resume service again, by sometime early in the week.

“We’re just kind of waiting for official word,” said Diagonal Mayor Lowell Johnson. “We’re kind of hoping they will let us know what is happening from day-to-day, and keep us up on what’s going on, that's about all we can do.”

“For somebody who is a caregiver to someone who is elderly who has oxygenmachines that have to be cleaned every day, having to boil water all the time, it's a little difficult,” said Becky Andrews, of Diagonal.

In Diagonal a pickup load of bottled water was given out at the Community Center. The water was donated by Fareway.

At noon Sunday there was a long line of people waiting to pickup some bottled water at the Food Pantry. Most of the Faraway donation of water in Creston was picked up on Saturday. A few bottles remained on Sunday. Organizer Mark O’Riley was worried the word wouldn’t get out about the water to be given to the public.

“Now we ‘ve got rid of it we need more,” said O’Riley. “This is it, I’ve got two towns still wanting water.”

O’Riley remembers 10 years ago, he drove a truckload of water to Parkersburg, now his town is on the receiving end.

Restaurants are also dealing with a lack of water. One fast food restaurant closed in Creston. The Windrow Restaurant was open, but had few customers, as they couldn’t serve breakfast, or operate their salad bar, per the Public Health Department. They offered customers a chance to purchase bottled water, or drink boiled water for free. Some employees were not needed this weekend, due to no salad bar. The restaurant is buying bottled water and paper plates, and utensils.

“Health Inspector has been here,and told us what we could do, said Manager Kathy Eblen. “Everything is on paper plates, paper cups, we’re doing our best, at least we don't have to wash dishes."