6:33 p.m.: CORRECTION: six, not seven, apartments with leak issues per CCWA
5:48 p.m.: County bringing water to Deer Creek Mobile Home Park residents; ADDS comments from mobile home park residents
Clayton County officials say that water service is being restored, but that some areas are still experiencing low or no water pressure as of Thursday morning. Anyone with low or no water pressure should call 770-960-5200 to report the problem. A boil-water advisory remains in effect for people with low water pressure and, when the water comes back on, for those currently without any water pressure at all.
Clayton County Water Authority General Manager H. Bernard Franks, Clayton County Chairman Jeff Turner, Clayton County Chief Operating Officer Detrick Stanford, District 1 Commissioner Alieka Anderson, District 4 Commissioner DeMont Davis, Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Chief Ryan Morrison and Battalion Chief Laura Richardson, CCPS Superintendent Anthony Smith, Clayton County School Board Chair Jessie Goree (District 3), School Board members Victoria Williams (District 4) , Mark Christmas (District 2), Sabrina Hill (District 7), Benjamin Straker (District 9), Police Chief Kevin Roberts, and Clayton County Facilities Director Ben Hopkins held a 40-minute press conference at police headquarters.
Listen to the press conference
Chairman Jeff Turner said county workers, particularly those at CCWA, had done a “phenomenal” job at getting the water up and running again, while acknowledging that many people still remain without water service.
He also pointed out that CCWA and other county employees also had lost water and that they sacrificed their holiday celebrations with their families in order to get water service running again.
Thursday night, CCWA crews were still finding and repairing water main leaks around the county:
Six apartment complexes and two mobile home parks remain without water, Franks told reporters. He added that no water mains froze, but that the ground around the pipes froze, shifting the pipes out of place and causing the leaks.
The Clayton Crescent visited the three mobile home parks on CCWA’s list Thursday:
- At Deer Creek Mobile Home Park in Stockbridge, just inside the Clayton County line, a woman there told The Clayton Crescent the park had been without water since December 23. We informed Turner, who said he was sending CCWA and Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services personnel there to hand out water to residents.
- At Clayton Village Mobile Home Park just off Exit 235 in Jonesboro, The Clayton Crescent saw several garden hoses running between trailers and significant water on the ground throughout the park. Many residents there speak Spanish, including one who told The Clayton Crescent they’ve only had a trickle of water since Christmas Eve. and lots of water on the ground in Clayton MHP, where many residents speak Spanish. A man we spoke with did not know it was the landlord’s responsibility to fix the pipes. We let them know about the free water distribution at 8890 Roberts Road in Jonesboro.
- Forest Valley Mobile Home Park on Hwy. 54 in Ellenwood has had only a trickle for days. The Clayton Crescent spoke to residents who said they didn’t know the leak was on the property, as opposed to the county water main. They also said they did not know the county was providing free bottled water until one resident’s mother called and told her on Wednesday night. They also said a woman in the park claims she is now management and was shutting off people’s water on Wednesday. One man said he blamed the county for the water outage, saying, “It’s Clayton County being Clayton County.”
PHOTOS: Mobile home water problems
Two of the three mobile home parks, Clayton Village and Deer Creek, appear to be owned by Roots Management Group, formerly known as OZ Impact Funds, of Dallas, TX. The Clayton Crescent e-mailed the company Thursday night to ask when should residents expect to have full running water service restored, what is management is doing or has done to address the problem, when they learned of the problem, and whether CCWA was correct in stating that the pipe breaks were on their side of the meter. We’ll update when we hear back.
The six apartment complexes that CCWA said had leaks on their property include:
- PineView Apartments, 985 Mt. Zion Rd., Morrow: leak on their side
- Legacy at Riverdale, 6603 Church Street, Riverdale: no water due to leaks on their side
- Arrowhead Townhomes, 330 Arrowhead Blvd, Jonesboro: leak on their side
- Lakeside Townhomes, 5577 Riverdale Road, Atlanta: leak on their side
- Enclave Apartments, Ft. Gillem (Park at Fort Gillem): leak on their side
- Village on Riverwalk, 5329 Riverwalk Lane, College Park: no water, their issue
Residents of other complexes say they’ve also had water issues for days, including the Overlook Apartments at 6726 Tara Blvd.
Several officials acknowledged the need for better communication with residents about the nature of the outage, informing residents who speak languages other than English, and having residents tell officials what their needs are. Many people in Clayton County have expressed frustration with what they feel was a lack of response from CCWA when they called in or sent Facebook messages about their outages. CCWA has repeatedly said they are acting on all such notices and has made an effort to acknowledge them.
Some people who are homebound or elderly have had water delivered to them, but no one number exists where others in their situation can call for help. Stanford promised a central place for people who still need help would appear on the county’s website within the hour.
Facilities Director Ben Hopkins said damage to the Clayton County Elections and Registration Office was caused by a coil in the closed loop HVAC system that froze and broke. When the pipes thawed, the water knocked down the ceiling tiles in the office. Hopkins said the mess has been cleaned up and that the county is assessing how the elections office was impacted.
Hopkins also said the county had closed the Harold Banke Justice Center to divert water pressure to the Clayton County Jail but that it had only increased the pressure by 2 psi. However, he said, as pressure rose systemwide, the jail was able to resume flushing toilets on Wednesday. Before that, he said, people used buckets of water to flush the toilets. The heat is improving to the mid-60s inside the jail and people have been issued more blankets.
All libraries except the Forest Park Branch reopened Thursday, along with the Harold Banke Justice Center.