Residents line up hours ahead of planned water distribution at Orange Mound Community Center

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Orange Mound Community Center turned into a water distribution site on Monday as hundreds looked to get aid amid the ongoing water crisis. In all they gave away nearly 400 cases which breaks down to nearly 10,000 bottles of water.

LaToya McGhee was the first in line Monday morning. She told WREG’s Jerrita Patterson she went to two water distribution sites Sunday but left empty handed at both. That’s why she arrived five hours before Monday’s opening to help support her family.

“I haven’t been to the stores yet, but my mom has and she said they’re all completely out of water,” she said. “There is no water to be found and if you do go to the store you have to go down in Mississippi or you have to go all the way out to Arkansas just to find some water. You’re probably paying $8,$9 or maybe even $10 for that case of water.”

McGhee wasn’t the only one waiting before the official opening. Patterson estimated the car line was a mile long and that was still two hours before opening. It just goes to show how much of need there is in our local community.

“What’s happening here really is both exciting and well as emotional just knowing so many of our neighbors are in desperate need of something that is essential,” Patterson said during Live at 9.

The area has been advised to boil water indefinetely due to water line breaks following last week’s snow storms. The breaks can decrease water pressure, leading to the potential for bacterial growth that can be harmful to your health.

In the end, McGhee came away with a case of water for her family, saying it felt great. She said she would do it all again as desperate times call for desperate measures.

To further aid those in need, the Tennessee Valley Authority said it would be donating 80,000 bottles of water. MLGW also announced they would not be disconnecting anyone at this time due to non-payment. This applies to all homes and businesses whether they pre-pary or pay a more traditional way.

The utility has extended available payment plans through March 31. This one-time payment plan allows eligibble customers to repay their past due balance over a 12-month period.

To learn more, call customer service.

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