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Water issues plague towns across Oklahoma after freezing weather

A water tower that's shaped like a bulb with eight legs. The bulb is red and white checkered; the legs are red and white striped. The bulb says "LAWTON."
City of Lawton
Lawton was among 26 medium or large communities whose water and wastewater projects were recommended for ARPA funding.

Water problems have sprung up around the state after last week’s freezing temperatures.

Cameron University in Lawton canceled classes and closed food courts Thursday as the campus went without water. Line breaks and issues at a local treatment plant affected much of Lawton.

Meanwhile, in Central Oklahoma, Konawa residents have had little or no water for more than a week. The city has been distributing bottled water and inviting residents to shower at a school fieldhouse.

Almost 100 miles north, the City of Perry has been having water issues of its own. Students returned to school yesterday after classes were canceled all week for icy weather and lack of water.

The city’s water stores are slowly recovering from leaks that appeared during last week’s frigid weather, according to a Facebook post from Perry Mayor Lawrence Wortham.

“Had the community not conserved water and our City water department not responded as they did, things could have been much, much worse,” Wortham wrote.

Just south of Tulsa, students at Beggs Public Schools haven’t met in-person since Jan. 12. After weeks of outages and a boil order, the school system posted that the city is close to resolving the issues.

The Oklahoma City Utilities Department asked residents to conserve water last week, as dripping faucets brought above-average demand. Some Northwest OKC residents went without water while the city repaired a broken main.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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