Benton Harbor residents go for days without water

Some residents of Benton Harbor have gone for days without water because of frozen pipes and say the city isn't doing anything about it.

Nadia Bridwell has been without water since Thursday due to a frozen water service line.

The city told her they would start working on Monday or Tuesday.

No one showed up.

"We can't go to the bathroom. We can't shower. We can't even cook little sides for dinner, because we don't have any water at all," Bridwell said.

Bridwell's next door neighbor Monroe Tyus says he's been without running water for one day.

"I go to the store to buy water," Tyus said.

Despite reports that some residents have gone as long as two weeks without running water, Darwin Watson, City Manager of Benton Harbor said to his knowledge, reports of water service line problems have been addressed in a timely manner.

"We issue a work order and we go out and we investigate and we advise the customer based on what we find out," Watson said.

Before the service lines can be fixed, an investigation must take place. Because these aren't water mains freezing over, liability is difficult to determine.

The water service line is maintained by the city to the property line.

From the property line to the home, it's the landowner's responsibility.

Investigations over whether the city or landlord is responsible can take over a week.

"I can't wait two weeks. You know, two weeks without a bathroom, without a toilet, I just can't," said Tyus.

Watson said the city is doing everything in its power to help customers.

"The blame is not on anyone. The blame is on Mother Nature. No one can fault them for what happens. We do what we can on our end to help assist and do all we can to help the resident to remedy this problem," Watson said.

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