Residents at Hattiesburg apartment complex go 4 days without water

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Keyonda Vanzant woke up Friday without running water, making it four days since she's had a trickle from the faucet.

"My next door neighbors said they were washing dishes and cooking and the water went off and they went outside to see what was going on and there was a man out there cutting the water off," said Vanzant.

Water company records show that the owner of Vanzant's College Street Apartments building - Alcus Hudson - hasn't paid the water bill since April, and racked up a $1200 charge.

Vanzant says she struggles to pay rent - which includes water - and sometimes can't pay it in full. "I have a newborn baby and it's kind of hard because you know we can't bathe, she can't bathe, and then we got to go buy jugs of water just to fix her bottles."

Another building resident, Makila Waery, said she's been using the water dripping from her window air conditioning unit to flush her toilet; she'd rather use the water she's been buying to drink.

WDAM notified the Department of Public Works Friday and the building's water was turned back on in the afternoon.  "We don't do residents without water," said Interim Director John Brown.

Brown said department officials went to Hudson's home to address the issue and Hudson said he hasn't paid the bill because the residents hadn't paid rent for months.

Brown said Hudson's bill will continue to grow, and in the meantime the water will remain on so that residents are not punished.