Sigrid Kulkowitz 0

Waterless Ithacans left in the cold

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To the Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick, and Public Works/Water and Sewer department,

We know that you are trying, but could you show us you care?

Since the last week of February 2015, many water service lines from the city main in the street have been freezing, completely shutting off the water supply to affected homes.

Four homes on our street (East York) lost water together in late February. All were thawed out by hard-working city crews a few days later. All four obeyed the rule “pencil thick” stream of water running out of a faucet 24/7. All four re-froze over ten days to three weeks ago. (Update: all thawed out 3/17). We know many others have never gotten their water back at all. We heard there were over fifty households affected.

We understand that the city is limited in its ability to thaw out this many frozen service lines. We understand that the crews on the ground are doing their best to help residents and that neighboring communities have been challenged as well, making it hard to get reinforcements of crews or equipment. We all try to be patient and get by with the help of wonderfully kind neighbors who still have running water. We also realize that not being able to shower or wash dishes is not a life or death emergency.

However, from our point of view, what's missing is communication and more concern from our mayor, as well as the officials in the Public Works/Water and Sewer department.

What we need:

- Better lines of communication:eg., collecting our emails, so we can receive regular updates including even a vague idea about how long till our lines are opened. We also need a point person to communicate our concerns with the city.

- Assessments of needs and offers of assistance, eg., bottled water.

- A plan for the future. For one of our neighbors this is the second year the service line to her house has frozen. We want to know what steps are going to be taken to prevent this from happening again.

It is one thing that city infrastructure fails in the face of an unusually harsh winter, but we, the citizens who have been or may be impacted by this in the future are feeling like the city has left us out in the cold.

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