Good Samaritans turn

Good Samaritans turn out during water crisis

While city workers struggled to get a massive water main leak under control last week, good Samaritans stepped up to plug the hole in the water supply. When it became clear that the outage could last days, not hours, Jason Pack hauled in a flatbed full of non-potable water in his personal storage totes to a makeshift aid station at the Gazebo on Main Street so that his fellow Olneyites could flush toilets and wash clothes. Mr. Pack, the manager of Stewart’s Food Store, also brought hundreds of gallon jugs of water and flats of drinking water donated by Stewart’s. Mr. Pack, a member of the Olney Volunteer Fire Department, contacted the neighboring volunteer fire departments in Loving and Graham and asked them to bring water trucks to stand by in case of a fire, he said. Olney Mayor Rue Rogers, Olney Police Chief Dan Birbeck, and OVFD Chief Clint Pulliam also were on hand to pass out water and answer questions throughout the day.

County Commissioners Stacey Rogers and Jimmy Wiley sent county workers to deliver water to replenish the tanks throughout the day, with Mr. Rogers and Josh Wiley taking a shift handing out water. Jason Browning of Olney stopped at the aid station to get water for himself and his housebound neighbor on Tuesday morning. “I think our crew is working hard. The city is doing everything that they can to accommodate our residents here,” Mr. Browning said. “I’m just picking up for me and a neighbor because he’s elderly and he can’t get out. These guys are doing a tremendous job out here … knowing the situation that we’re in. I can’t say enough good things about them.” Cub Country Cafe and Katie Carls from the office of Assistant City Attorney Dan Branum brought breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks out to the city workers, Mayor Pro Tem Tom Parker said. Bobby Wainscott lent his Track Hoe to the city crew to excavate the old pipe from the Koester Road leak and put the new pipe in the ground, Mr. Parker said.