Thousands across Memphis receive free water as water issues settle in

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thousands across the City of Memphis were given water as members of the city council collaborated to organize a free water giveaway, coming as the city continues to grapple with a water shortage brought on by MLGW pipe breaks and a boil water advisory.

One event was held in the Whitehaven neighborhood where 100 cases of water were handed out--a vital supply that was being delivered to dozens of people who need it.

The wheels began to roll as car after car pull up to the Whitehaven Community Center to get a case of that thing many may have taken for granted until now.

The Whitehaven neighborhood was left off a list of citywide locations where people could go to get the cases of water, but Councilman J.B. Smiley, Super District 8-1, and Councilman Martavius Jones, Super District 8-3, organized it last minute to accommodate people in the neighborhood, they said.

“Yesterday, I went out and I had to drive all the way down to Goodman Rd. in Mississippi and all the places—Target, Home Depot, Kroger--they were out of water,” said Pamela Williams, a resident of Whitehaven.

Williams said she showed up at about 9:45 a.m. for the event, which began at 11 a.m. Williams was among the first to receive a case of Dasani water.

“It’s very important because I’m trying to get the water for my mom. She’s 88 years old,” Williams said.

The goal of handing the water was accomplished with help from volunteers.

“If we can just get out here in the community and show people out here that we care, then maybe some of the violence will just stop,” said Erik Ealy, part of the community group Trinity Lodge Number 12.

But even as people got help with one storm related problem, another, still caused challenges as frozen chunks of ice and snow caused the axel on Rosie Caffey’s SUV to bend, rendering it immobile.

Caffey said she was frustrated with the fact that streets were still not cleared of snow and that the MLGW water crisis caused her to come to the event to seek water.

However, Sunday, at least, people came to get help while navigating a city reeling from an unprecedented winter storm.