City manager Merle Taylor said this morning that city crews had repaired the valve and pipe Wednesday night, but the pipe buckled and the process had to be re-started. Crews took a one hour break and then continued to work on the pipe.
"It wasn't a pleasant night," Taylor said, adding that additional steps were taken today to secure the pipe and valve. Complicating matters, waterline supervisor Wayne Kimery broke his ankle prior to the break and was in surgery during the crisis.
Taylor said the system was being pressurized and water was flowing at press time, allowing residents to flush toilets.
"We will still be under a boil notice until the sanitation test comes back," Taylor said. The boil notice will be in effect until at least Friday. Residents should boil water before using it for cooking, drinking or making ice because of the possibility of harmful bacteria and other microbes.
Snyder ISD closed all campuses today and Snyder Day Care was closed because of the leak, which cut off water to everyone on the city system. Snyder ISD officials said school will be held Friday if water pressure was restored.
This morning, Ira ISD officials announced students would be released at noon today and will not attend school Friday. Taylor said that numerous factors could have led to the line breaking -- from soil conditions, freezing weather and the age of the pipe.
Dr. Mike Dreith, Western Texas College president, said that the campus was open today for the last day of final exams. He expected tests to be finished around noon. United Supermarkets General Manager Tim McCullar said that he contacted the company's warehouse around 6 p.m. Wednesday and asked for a truckload of water. By 7:30 a.m. today, customers had made a dent in the water, but McCullar said additional pallets were available.
"We were able to react pretty quickly because we're so close to Lubbock," McCullar said. "We have plenty of water and we don't have any plans to limit how much customers can buy. All we ask is that they be considerate of others, both in the store and in the community. Moderation on the customers' part is what we're asking for."
He also said he had contacted the store's water vendors -- Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Primo -- and asked them for shipments today. As for food handling within the store, McCullar said United has a protocol it follows in situations like this and employees began following those steps Wednesday night. Those steps vary by department, but are in place to make sure that the food supply is safe, he said.
Belinda Kerr, marketing manager at Cogdell Memorial Hospital, said the hospital received a truck load of water from U.S. Foods.
"Water came in at 7:15 this morning and it was in five-gallon bottles. We are using it for hand washing and to prepare the food and flush toilets," she said.