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‘We’d sure like to get some water back’ Patience wears thin for some still without water

<i>WLOS</i><br/>On Sunday afternoon
On Sunday afternoon

By Taylor Thompson

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    BUNCOMBE COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — On Sunday afternoon, the City of Asheville lifted the boil water advisories for the southern areas affected by the water outage.

Those at the Cliffs at Walnut Cove and those in western Buncombe County remained under an advisory, as of Sunday night.

While lifted advisories are exciting for some, others still don’t even have the water to boil. Some of those people include residents in the Candler area who continue to deal with more days of no water.

Sheila Crooke, a resident in the Challedon neighborhood, expressed how terrible it has been as they’ve all been without water since last Tuesday. She said she felt as though they had all been more than patient, but that it was past time to get their water back.

Over the weekend, city councilwoman Sage Turner came to help the neighborhood as she delivered a tank of water and has continued to refill it.

Crooke said that they were all very thankful for Turner’s generosity as the neighborhood is outside of city limits.

Even with the help, Crooke said it still continues to get harder the more days that pass.

“The neighborhood has been managing the best we can, but we’d sure like to get some water back,” she said.

She also said it felt as though they’d been forgotten by the city.

Crooke added how it has seemed that the focus has been on south Asheville not having water and that it’s been really dry in the Candler area too.

“Think about us, we are out here and we do count and so we would like to have some water as well,” said Crooke.

They’ve heard the same responses from the city as everyone else, except Crooke said that receiving phone calls about boil water advisories doesn’t do much good when they don’t have any water in the first place.

Another resident, Tom Clarke, said that he is extremely disappointed in the city’s response to this crisis.

“This is a problem about 60 years of aged water lines,” said Clarke.

Clarke has lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years and said that he’s never experienced anything like this before.

“Day six and there’s no promise to have it back on, none whatsoever and that’s not acceptable,” he said.

“We all knew it was going to get cold,” Clarke added. “We’ve had cold weather before, you know, it was a three-day cold snap and you’ve got restaurants that have not had water and it’s unacceptable.”

Clarke said that this needs to be fixed and that the city needs to hire a consultant that can deal with outages such as this that impact people’s lives.

His question for the city remains as to why this freeze caused such an outage.

“Why is a freeze now when we’ve had cold snaps for years catching everybody off guard, why is it now?” he questioned.

He added that everybody without water needs it and doesn’t understand why their area hasn’t been a priority for the pumps to be turned on.

At the end of the day, Clarke said he believes the city can’t continue to push projects and hotels to build without first putting the things in the ground that need to be done to support it.

2023 has continued to be a rough start for many Candler residents as they expressed how they miss the running water that they had in 2022.

Click here to see the latest updates from the City of Asheville:

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