By Linda Cicoira — Tangier Islanders were raising their glasses (of water) Wednesday and toasting thanks to those up and down the Eastern Shore mainland, the Tidewater area, and parts of Maryland that came to the rescue with bottles of drinking water after their main water line broke and their water tower was emptied.
Mayor James (Ooker) Eskridge said the water test came back good, the boil water order was lifted and residents are able to drink and bathe in comfort. There was “an outpouring of support. There are a lot of good people out there,” he added.
“Customers of the town of Tangier were notified on Jan. 24, 2019, of a problem with our drinking water,” the town notice posted on Facebook stated. “You probably noticed that we lost water pressure due to the broken water pipes. We were advised to boil any water used for consumption. We are pleased to report that the problems have been corrected and that it is no longer necessary to boil your water or (to) use bottled water. We have made the necessary repairs to the system or isolated the leaks. The storage tank has returned to its normal working capacity and we have collected two bacteriological samples to confirm our system remained free from contamination. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”
About three weeks ago, VDOT was replacing two bridges on the Chesapeake Bay’s island of about 400 people. The existing water line had to be moved, so it was replaced with a new line. Freezing temperatures were measured Jan. 20, and there was a break in the line. Eskridge said the lack of flowing water then caused lines to some homes to burst. Residents managed by using creek water to flush toilets and heated water to bathe. Businesses were also unable to operate.