UPDATE Wednesday 9:45 a.m.: The Cherokee Water Manager Stan DeRoo says the last 100 homes have running water again.
(CHEROKEE COUNTY, IA) - There was so much flooding everywhere, but now there's not enough water to do the dishes, shower or drink for some folks in Cherokee County.
It's now down to a hundred homes that have been without water since last week's flooding. Crews have been for nine days straight now trying to make sure everyone has water again.Roger and Marge Frisbie have been living life without water with day in and day out for more than a week. They've lived in their home for 26 years, but they've never been without water for more than a few hours. "You can't shower. You can't shave. You can't wash your laundry. I've got a stack of dishes over here just from lunch - going to take me all day to get done," said Roger Frisbie. The couple has been so frustrated by the situation that they're staying in a motel every night just to get running water. "It's very inconvenient. I don't know another way of saying it. We take too much for granted," said Marge Frisbie. "Just like camping: we do sandwiches here at noon. We eat out at the restaurant in the evening. And we get a continental breakfast at the motel," said Roger.
The Cherokee Rural Water staff has been swamped trying to get the entire district back to normal after erosion damaged the pipes. "It impacted our whole system in the sense that we had an 8-inch river crossing that was washed out completely which served the entire west end of our system all the way to the Le Mars - Hinton area," said Cherokee Rural Water Manager Stan DeRoo. Crews had put in the pipes back in the mid-70s. With last week's extreme flooding event, those pipes can get damaged. So crews have to come in and use a machine to dig deep and fix them. Here's possibly the strangest adjustment of all: "When we use the toilet, we use well water. We pick it up. We dump it in the toilet and flush the water down," said Roger with a bucket in hand. "It has been frustrating. On the other hand, there's a lot of good in the sense people have been very understanding. I've had calls from all the neighboring rural water systems," said DeRoo. "At least we have a roof over our heads and we will have water. Our house hasn't been blown away. And nobody got hurt," said Roger.
Even when those folks do get their water service restored for awhile they'll still have to take the extra step of boiling that water to make sure it's safe. You can get updates on the progress to restore that water by going to the Cherokee Rural Water Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cherokee-Rural-Water/606785962678457?ref=ts&fref=ts