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To continue its efforts to support customers in Pine Bluff, Arkansas following February’s extreme cold weather emergency, Liberty has designated $50,000 of its recent $250,000 donation to help customers with their water utility bills. The funds will be managed by Pine Bluff’s Neighbor to Neighbor organization. Qualifying Liberty Pine Bluff and Jefferson County residential customers can receive up to $100, not to exceed their total water utility bill amount. Customers are asked to call Neighbor to Neighbor at 870-534-2883 to learn more and begin the application process.
The United Way will continue to manage the remaining funds from Liberty’s donation to help residents of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County who experienced frozen and broken waterlines on their property caused by record-setting freezing temperatures in February.
“We understand the need in the Pine Bluff community, and we want to make sure these funds are being used to help our customers in the best and most effective way possible,” said Mike Beatty, Liberty Vice President, Water and Gas Operations. “We are pleased that we have been able to help a number of customers with repairs to their home waterlines. We also recognize that some customers experienced higher than normal water bills due to broken waterlines at their homes. These designated funds help address this additional hardship.”
Liberty is proud to partner with the United Way of Southeast Arkansas to help distribute Liberty’s recently announced $250,000 donation to Pine Bluff and Jefferson County residential customers facing hardship due to the recent extreme winter weather event.
“As our operations teams from across the country have canvassed the Pine Bluff community and our customer care team has fielded numerous calls over the last several days, we have responded to more than 330 homes in the community that experienced frozen and broken waterlines on their property,” said David Swain. Liberty Central Region President. “While we have fully restored water service through our water distribution plants serving the area, we recognize that this extreme winter weather event may cause a hardship for some of our customers whose own waterlines have been damaged. Our hope is that through this donation we can help our customers make the needed repairs at their homes so that they once again have access to safe, reliable water. We are grateful to the city and county for their collaboration in developing this plan to best serve the community and to the United Way of Southeast Arkansas for partnering with us to distribute these needed funds.”
Residents seeking support from the donation need to meet the following qualifications:
1) Must be a Liberty residential customer in Pine Bluff or Jefferson County
2) Must have experienced broken waterlines (pipes) at their home due to freezing during the recent extreme winter weather
3) Must need financial assistance to pay a plumber to make repairs to their waterlines
Qualifying customers should call the United Way of Southeast Arkansas at 870-534-2153 to begin the donation process. Eligible residential customers can receive up to $500.
In addition to the donation funds, Liberty offers a variety of payment options and a special payment plan for this emergency event to help customers. If customers have questions or concerns regarding their water usage or their bill as a result of this extreme winter weather event, our team is here to help. Please call our customer care line at 1-855-382-6508.
First, our hearts go out to our Pine Bluff community in the aftermath of the shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High.
Over the last week and a half, Liberty’s top priority has been to restore full water service to our Pine Bluff community. Today, water pressures at our three water distribution plants serving Pine Bluff have returned to normal, and the plants have resumed normal operating conditions. As a result, water pressures throughout the city should now be back to normal.
If you are still experiencing low water pressure, please call our emergency service line at 1-855-382-6511. Also, we urge everyone to continue to report waterline leaks or breaks. Our crews will inspect the leak and help disconnect the water to allow a plumber to make repairs.
Our Liberty crews from Arizona, California, Illinois, and Missouri continue to canvass the Pine Bluff community for leaks and breaks and should complete these efforts this week.
Yesterday, Liberty was able to give away two additional semi-trailers of water to residents of Pine Bluff. We would like to thank our customers for their many kind words during that event. We know that the last several days have been a hardship for our Pine Bluff community. Thank you for your patience as Liberty teams from across the country worked to restore service.
Yesterday and this morning our Liberty team distributed a semi-trailer of bottled water to the residents of Pine Bluff. Our supply ran out this morning, but we have second trailer on the way! We’ve scheduled another water distribution for Pine Bluff for 7 a.m. to noon, Sunday, February 28, at 1100 S State St., while supplies last. If we missed you today, please stop by tomorrow!
Liberty crews from Arizona, California, Illinois, and Missouri are still on scene and continue to canvass the Pine Bluff community for leaks and breaks. The three water distribution plants serving Pine Bluff remain stable with pressures operating at normal levels.
We continue to encourage Pine Bluff residents to call our emergency service line at 1-855-382-6511 to report waterline leaks or breaks.
Today and tomorrow, we will be distributing free cases of bottled water at our Liberty facility, located at 1100 S. State Street, Pine Bluff. We will be there until 6 p.m. this evening and then from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. We are asking everyone who comes to enter the parking lot from the north side on Main street, drive through and remain in their vehicle and after we place the water in the vehicle, exit to the south on State Street. We will be practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
Lowe’s is also distributing free water at 2906-A East Harding Avenue in Pine Bluff while supplies last.
Despite today’s rainy weather, Liberty crews continue to be hard at work canvassing zones within the community and will be working through the weekend.
Now that pressures are stabilizing, we are also unwinding the segmentation that was done to focus Plant 2 on better servicing the Jefferson Regional Medical Center. This is allowing us to return the system to normal operating parameters.
By the Numbers – 2-26-21
Today we are pleased to share that we are donating $250,000 to be used to aid residents of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County. As we continue to address leaks and breaks, we have found that many of them are not on our system, but they are instead on pipes in area homes and businesses. We recognize that, for many of our neighbors, the cost of repairing or replacing these pipes is a heavy burden, and we’ve set aside these funds in hopes of helping lighten that burden. Liberty will work with Mayor Washington, Judge Robinson, and Mayor Foster to determine the best way to distribute those funds.
Our crews that have gathered from Arizona, California and Missouri are continuing to assist in our response and canvass the community. We thank them as well as the Pine Bluff police department, fire department and wastewater utility for their continued support and assistance.
By the Numbers – 2-25-21
We continue to see improvement in water pressure at all three of our plants and our crews are back at work today across the community. In total, there are 52 Liberty operations people on the ground in Pine Bluff, made up of local crew members as well as several people from across the country, including:
These crew members are working in teams to systematically canvass zones within the community – including neighborhoods and unoccupied and/or vacant buildings. We are also receiving assistance from local police, fire, and the wastewater utility.
Plant 2 and the Jefferson Regional Medical Center remain an area of focus for us, and we continue to see pressure at the hospital improve.
Since yesterday afternoon we have found additional leaks in unoccupied buildings, including a major leak in the fire suppression line at a vacant school. That has been shut off. We received no additional reports of customer leaks overnight, though we continue to urge the community to call us to report leaks. We are able to answer most calls within 60 seconds.
By the Numbers – 02-24-2021
Today, additional Liberty crews arrived on scene to support the response efforts in Pine Bluff. We have teams from our electric operations in Missouri here now and water operations in Arizona and California coming in tonight. Our customers continue to report leaks and breaks – more than 140 so far. Our teams have also worked on several larger breaks today. All of this is helping to improve the water pressure. We still have work to do and won’t stop until we have restored service to our customers. We will continue to provide updates on this page. Report leaks to 1-855-382-6511.
This morning, Liberty President David Swain participated in a meeting, followed by a news conference, hosted by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson along with Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley M. Washington, Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson, and other community leaders. During the news conference Swain reported that:
David Swain will remain in Pine Bluff to oversee the efforts and provide updates to the community.
We urge everyone to please continue to conserve water, and please report any waterline leaks or breaks by calling 1-855-382-6511. At this time, a water boil advisory is still not required.
Once we have service restored, we will begin the process of assessing the cause of damage.
We are deeply sorry that our customers continue to experience significantly reduced water pressure and we recognize that this is a true hardship for the entire community. Our top priority is restoring full service to our customers as quickly as possible, which is why we have crews working around the clock to identify waterline breaks. We are also working to bring additional personnel in to aid in the effort.
Fortunately, at this time, a water boil advisory is still not required.
We urge everyone to please continue to conserve water, and please report any water line leaks or breaks by calling 1-855-382-6511.
Once we have service restored, we will begin the process of assessing the cause of damage our customers have incurred.
Today, our team is canvassing the Pine Bluff community to search for waterline breaks along with our meter readers out in the field and checking meters to analyze the data to help identify any usage trends. As of Friday evening, February 19, we have repaired the equipment issue at Plant 1; however, that repair had minimal impact on improving the water pressure.
Last night, we experienced an equipment issue at one of the three water production plants that serve Pine Bluff. This is unrelated to the earlier announcement regarding increased demand and the resulting decreased water pressure. However, this equipment issue is causing water pressure to drop even further. Crews immediately began repairs at the plant, worked through the night, and continue to work to fix the equipment. The cause of the equipment issue is not known at this time.
While water pressure has decreased, a water boil advisory is still not required at this time. We will update customers through local media, our website, and a customer email to customers who have email addresses on file should that change. We have received reports of some businesses and residents who are experiencing minimal water pressure. We would like to thank the Watson Chapel Fire Department for their assistance in helping improve water service conditions at Jefferson Regional Medical Center during the night. We would also like to thank the Pine Bluff Fire Department for their continued assistance as we work through this emergency.
We have not, at this time, experienced a water main break that we are aware of. Our crews are patrolling the city actively looking for possible breaks. The prolonged bitter cold and increased demand continue to stress our system.
We need your help
If customers see a water leak or break at vacant or unoccupied homes or businesses, please report this to our emergency line at 1-855-382-6511.
We also encourage our customers to conserve water where safely possible. Please note – customers concerned about their water pipes breaking or freezing should continue to protect their water pipes by leaving cabinet doors open to allow for additional heat and a small amount of water dripping from the faucets.
Water conservation tips include:
Continue to protect the pipes in your home or business:
We are grateful to our customers for their efforts to conserve water and report water leaks and breaks. The extreme weather conditions are challenging for all, but our crews won’t stop until water service is returned to normal. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas – February 18, 2021 – The recent extreme weather and bitter cold has created conditions that may lead to water line leaks or breaks. As a result, Liberty is experiencing increased water demand. This may be attributed to customers avoiding frozen or broken pipes by leaving their water flowing. This increased demand is causing a pressure decrease in the water system serving Pine Bluff. Liberty is asking Pine Bluff customers to report any water line breaks they notice near homes or business that may be vacant or temporarily unoccupied. If customers see running water where it shouldn’t be, please call our emergency line at 1-855-382-6511 to report it.
If pressure in Liberty’s water system continues to decrease, it may be necessary to initiate a precautionary boil order advisory. A boil order advisory is required when the pressure drops below a pre-defined point. If this occurs, there is potential that water infrastructure conditions could allow contaminants to enter the water distribution system. Our Liberty crews have been working throughout this winter storm to protect the water system and respond to customers with water emergencies. At this time, while the system is stressed, a boil order advisory is not required. We will continue to update customers regarding this situation.
“We know these extreme weather conditions are impacting customers throughout our service area,” said Mike Beatty, Liberty Vice President, Gas and Water Operations. “Our teams are working around the clock to keep our system safe and reliable. We thank our customers for their help in monitoring this situation. Our team stands ready to respond.”
For information on boil advisory safety, please visit the link below.