Robeline, Marthaville residents struggle without water for days

Robeline, Marthaville residents struggle without water for days

ROBELINE, LA (KSLA) - Members of two local communities say they have been dealing with freezing temperatures and no water for days, some for weeks.

It was reportedly cut off for many residents living in the Natchitoches Parish villages of Robeline and Marthaville since last Friday or longer.

"You can't wash your dishes. You can't do your laundry. You can't flush your toilet. You can't wash your face," Robeline native Katelynn McKinney. "It is flu season and currently I am sick and this is doing nothing but spreading it."

On Monday, December 19 at 10 a.m., the Village of Robeline City Hall hosted a meeting between residents and the Robeline-Marthaville Water System.

McKinney says she attended the meeting, but it just left her with more questions.

"What we were hearing are temporary solutions that we have no finances for and that we cannot get finances for," she said.

"I'm on the system and I know the hardship," said fellow Robeline native and president of the water system, Tommy O'Con.

O'Con said the main water tank at the Robeline-Marthaville Water System Treatment Plant has sprung holes, leading to the problems their 450 customers are now facing.

According to O'Con, their system is suffering from the same wear and tear that their neighbors in Campti are experiencing and it requires repairs that are currently out of reach.

"The tank there at the systems are over 30 years old," O'Con said. "We are trying to secure funding to purchase two new pumps to replace the tank which is around $70,000."

O'Con, coming off a previous stint as mayor of Robeline for 30 years, is asking for patience with himself and the volunteer water board from residents.

A request for funding from the state was denied, according to O'Con, so he spent Monday afternoon canvassing local banks in Many and Natchitoches for funding.

"We have to all come together and work together to get this problem resolved," he said.

O'Con said they installed a larger air compressor at the plant on Sunday which he reports more than quadrupled the water pressure.

One Marthaville resident who wanted to remain anonymous says she lost water for more than a day while her husband was battling Necrotizing Fasciitis earlier this year.

"I'm having to boil everything and rinse everything off before I use it and after I use it, trying to keep germs out, but my husband passed away in November," she said.

For her, the fix can't come soon enough.

According to O'Con, the final remaining customers on their system should have water back by Tuesday, December 20.

Still, the Boil Advisory in the area remains in effect.

Should the water system secure the funding, O'Con said it would take 4-6 weeks to install the new water pumps.

Copyright 2016 KSLA. All rights reserved.