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'Lack of communication' from city leaders on Bixby water crisis

water_tanks_bixby_water_crisis
A photo of two, 275 gallon tanks full of water. Vicki Taylor said several of her neighbors have these tanks and that more people living in Bixby are trying to get one. Taken and provided by Taylor on July 18, 2022.

Parts of Green Country could see the hottest temperatures of the summer this week as a majority of people living in Bixby are still without water.

Vicki Taylor said routine tasks like doing laundry or washing dishes has become a nightmare.

"If you sit and think, it's like 'okay,' you just automatically walk to the sink and hit the faucet to wash your hands, you know what I mean?" Taylor said. " And you can't. You can't wash your hands."

Taylor said last Wednesday she noticed that the water pressure was feeling low. By Wednesday evening, a majority of the town was without water.

Community members held a meeting to discuss the situation on Saturday. Taylor said both the city manager and city's mayor declined to attend.

While they're still without water, Taylor said the real issue is the city's lack of communication.

"Everybody knows things happen, but then whenever you're not really communicated with," Taylor began. "That's when people get up in arms."

Like many others, Taylor is concerned about the well-being of her animals.

"You can't say, 'oh well, you know, we're gonna go stay in a hotel for a few days until everything's fine,'" Taylor explained. "We can't do it; we have chickens, and some things you can't let die."

After five days without convenient access to water, the seriousness of the situation has escalated to involving state officials.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell has created a task force to help remedy the water crisis.

“I’ve been in communication with Bixby city officials and am working with them to resolve this issue. I’ve been in contact with a number of agencies trying to find a solution and will continue working with them until the water is back on," Lt. Pinnell said in a press release.

Until then, the city of Bixby is offering mobile bathroom units and portable showers for residents. 

Restroom locations in Bixby:

  • 18132 S. 158 E. Ave.
  • 18209 S. 158 E. Ave.
  • 15648 E. 184 St. S.
  • 18110 S. 156 E. Ave.

The portable shower unit is set up at East 181st Street and South 158th East Avenue.
Residents can also visit South 129th East Avenue or East 181st Street South on the northwest side of the Deer Run Estates to fill up small and large containers with water.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.