Some Houstonians still without water, waiting on an appointment with a plumber

Thousands of Houstonians are still without water and are waiting to get an appointment with a plumber, who seems to be the most popular person in town right now. In fact, plumbers are in such high demand, many are booked so far in advance they’re currently not even taking any more appointments.

A busy day at Houston’s Local Plumbers Union 68 is typically when the guys take 35 calls, but now after the big freeze left pipes cracked and spraying water.

"We’re averaging a little over 300 and at the height, between the 600 to 700 range," explains Chato Woodard with Plumbers Local Union 68.

Thousands of Houstonians still have water in their homes after pipes burst last week

Still trying to dry out and recover after days of freezing temperatures caused pipes to burst in thousands of Houston area homes.

It’s much of the same at Ell Dee Plumbing in Kemah.

"We’ve been working 14, 16 hour days. I’m working as much as I can to get everyone taken care of as quickly as I can. We’re working seven days a week," says Plumber Steven Denney with Ell Dee Plumbing.


"I’m trying to reach some plumbing companies and they won’t even answer the call. They won’t answer at all. That’s how bad it is. They’re just overwhelmed," adds Woodard.

FEMA, local relief coming for home repairs after storm

New local and FEMA assistance is coming available to help many Houston area families living without water and in homes that are severely damaged by burst pipes from last week's ice storm.

"I tried calling and there’s quite a few that did answer and were rejecting because they just had too much work," explains Houstonian Jason Riojas whose house has water damage throughout. "Having to live in a house with big holes in the ceiling is not really fun to come home to."

Fortunately, Riojas caught his neighbor’s plumber and was squeezed into the schedule.


"And he pretty much had to redo all my pipes because I had ten leaks or more."

At almost 10 p.m., that plumber was headed to yet another home to repair. 

"I have some people that are still waiting, don’t have water at all and it’s probably going to be a week or more before we can get to them," Denney explains.

Houston mayor urging residents to not "freak out" if you receive high water bill following winter storm

Houston Public Works is now asking customers to, "please pay what you paid on your last bill until automatic adjustments can be applied."

In addition to having a hard time finding available plumbers, supplies are now also running low. Woodard is waiting on a shipment from Dallas to arrive.

He took a video of himself standing in a line for hours to get the supplies his guys need.

"Whatever it takes to get water to everybody in Houston. That’s how our guys are. They’re just fired up right now. We just want to help," says Woodard. He expects it will likely be another month before everyone is serviced.  

Even if you have to wait a few days it is recommended to use a licensed plumber that the state has run a background check on and that's registered with the state.

The Houston Plumbers Union recommends going to to find someone.