Gene Jones Park water tank

The prominent, 76-foot tall, light blue water tank in Gene Jones Park along Aid Avenue has stored the city’s public water since 1967, but according to Public Works Director Jeff Hanshaw it needs to be replaced. A recent inspection of the water tank has found that the tank needs $300,000 in repairs to fix issues with deterioration. Instead, Hanshaw proposes replacing the 54-year-old water tank with a new water tower, which would help increase the city’s insufficient water storage capacity. He said the estimated cost of a new replacement would be $10.5 million.

The city of West Plains asks for the community’s continued help to find water system leaks after extreme cold settled over the region, bringing subzero temperatures that caused havoc for utility services in several states.

“We haven’t found a ‘big’ leak yet, but thanks to the community’s help we have found a lot of smaller leaks,” said city Community Services Director Todd Shanks. “We’re asking the community to let us know if more leaks are found due to frozen water pipes.”

The city first reported the leak on Friday when it announced there were extreme fluctuations at two of its water towers at Pine Street and Aid Avenue.

Anyone who discovers a leak in West Plains is asked to call city hall at 256-7176 before 5 p.m. weekdays, or the West Plains Police Department after hours at 256-2244.

The winter storm that impacted Midwestern and Southern states early last week left tens of thousands of people without power, and without power to warm pipes, many froze.

In Texas, as of Sunday evening, 30,000 power customers were still in the dark due to down power lines and equipment failures, though Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news conference that he expected all service to be restored within the next day, the Associated Press reported. Nearly 230,000 customers across the South remained without power at that time.

As of Monday morning, 18,000 customers in Mississippi remained without power and 5,000 in Louisiana; in Jackson, Miss., alone, 161,000 customers did not have water, and across Louisiana, at least 82,000 people lacked access to it, according to AP.

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