Community joins forces during Overbrook freeze up and water outage – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Community joins forces during Overbrook freeze up and water outage

One of many water line repairs underway in Overbrook during the great freeze of 2021. Courtesy photo.

During the deep freeze in February, Overbrook residents experienced an unprecedented number of water main breaks – five if you’re counting. These breaks caused city water sources to disappear or slow to a trickle as the water towers drained.

Overbrook employees, residents, local businesses, and work crews from nearby cities pulled together, working in subzero weather, to fix the water main breaks. As one was fixed, another would break. Most residents in Overbrook were without water for part or most of three days, and were issued a boil water alert that was finally lifted Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

Here are many of the people who worked long and hard to get water back in everyone’s homes: Jon Brady, Jim Koger, Aaron Traphagan, Danny Gamblin, Ross Miner, Hanna Smith and Ben Trotter for the City of Overbrook, Todd Goodyear and Ralph Guffey from G&G Excavating, Chris Warthen, Mike Musick and Jim Jolly Jr. from Osage County RWD No. 5, the crew at Conklin Plumbing, Osage City utility workers who assisted through the Kansas Mutual Aid Program, Kansas Rural Water Association, Jim Foster, Jesse Heberling, Nathan Averill, Calvin Young, and Kansas Municipal Utilities. Special thanks go out to the Osage County Fire District No. 4 as they provided bottled water, non-potable water, filled non-potable tanks at Brookside, and allowed us to install a temporary pressure relief valve at their station. The Overbrook United Methodist Church provided non-potable water and bottled water for drinking. Thank you so much!  We hope we did not leave anyone off this list.

An outpouring of appreciation was expressed by residents. Many residents brought food and beverages to the tired and hungry crews. Children from the Overbrook Attendance Center brought gift baskets and handwritten thank-you cards.

Water issues of this magnitude should not occur again because the city of Overbrook will begin replacing the old water system in 2021.

– Overbrook City Clerk Jim Koger

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