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Family needs help after water unexpectedly turned off at home

Posted at 5:52 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 21:43:39-05

DELAWARE COUNTY, Okla. — A couple is in dire need of help after being without water for a week. They're caught in the middle of a disagreement between their landlord and their water district.

“This is going to be the worst Christmas I ever had," said Betty Gipson.

For Betty and her husband Don, Friday is day seven without water. Their water was shut off last Saturday with no warning. They haven’t been able to shower, do dishes or wash clothes.

“I feel so dirty, you know," Betty said. "My hair is all greasy, flat and it’s just, it’s a mess.”

The Gipson's moved into their rental home Nov. 1. They said Rural Water District 12, which supplies their water, told them their landlord has an unpaid water bill of more than $2,000.

“It’s not fair. It’s not fair," Betty said.

Betty and Don are disabled. They're on a fixed income with not much room in the budget for bottled water. The only water they do have is in old paint buckets and it isn’t drinkable. A relative has to drive half a mile to fill them from a water spigot at an RV park.

“We keep on we’re going to have to go to a laundry mat," Betty said. "There’s another expense. We shouldn’t have to do that. We should have our water here.”

Betty and Don said they have reached out to their landlord, who has not returned any of their phone calls. They just want to pay their water bill and have water again.

“We’re willing to pay a deposit to that water company," Betty said. "It seems like they would want a paying customer.”

Betty and Don said they have reached out various organizations and lawyers, but haven't been able to get any help.

“We’re pretty close to having lives threatened because we don’t have any water," Don said.

Betty said she’s feeling hopeless, depressed and unsure of what to do next. All she wants for Christmas is a basic human need.

“This is supposed to be a family time of year," she said. "To be with your family and spread cheer. It’s not in this home.”

We've left several messages with Betty and Don's landlord, but we haven't heard back. The water district referred us to their lawyer. We called him too, but he also did not call back.

If you would like to contribute a donation to help the Gipson's, then visit their GoFundMe page here.

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