TOWN CREEK, Ala. - It's been several days since people were told water distributed to them by the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority and West Lawrence Co-Op isn't safe to drink.
Today, the first shipment of donated bottled water arrived for public use. This situation has not been declared an emergency by any state or federal agency, so all of the water comes from generous donors helping in a time of need.
The first load of bottled water arrived Tuesday afternoon at the farmer's market across from Town Creek's town hall. This is the initial shipment from the Food Bank of North Alabama and First United Methodist of Decatur. Much more is expected with a truck load coming from Publix, and another shipment on Wednesday, too.
"We had a delay in shipment and we had people here yesterday morning and they've been calling and coming every day," said Mike Parker, Town Creek's Mayor. "We've been trying to assure them that it would be here. Finally it's coming in today."
"These are basically, for lack of a better term, surprise donations. Publix has donated a tractor-trailer load," said Johnny Cantrell, Lawrence County EMA Director.
Each household will get a case or two of water. But remember, this is just the first wave of donations.
"When we do get it out this evening, you can pick some up, it's going to be very limited supplies today. Tomorrow, (Wednesday) the larger shipments are tentatively scheduled to be pulling in around 8 o'clock," said Cantrell.
Both Tuesday and Wednesday, the delivered water will be split up among the five Lawrence County pickup points:
- Hillsboro Gin – 14934 Al. Hwy. 20 Hillsboro, Al. 35643
- Roy Coffey Park – 3581 Jefferson St. Courtland, Al. 35618
- Farmers market – 15992 Main St. Town Creek, Al. 35672
- Okalona Baptist Church – 6628 Co. Rd. 236 Town Creek, Al. 35672
- Veterans Memorial Park – 6229 Co. Rd. 214 Trinity, Al. 35673
Cantrell asked people to bring water bills if possible. It helps speed up the distribution process. However, no one will be turned away.
"If people are there to get water, we're going to give them water," Cantrell said.