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Drinking water distribution sites consolidated

Advisory remains in effect
Posted at 10:42 PM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 23:35:18-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Roberta loves the convenience of living downtown in West Palm Beach.

"I can walk everywhere, walk to restaurants, the theater, the bars," she said.

With the city under a water advisory and Roberta not owning a car, getting to a water distribution site is a hassle.

"Not again, what am I going to do now? How am I going to get water?" she said.

In comes local activist David Rae with help. He set up a distribution site.

"Today there was no water distributed at Coleman Park. We were just scrambling to think like where we can have a central location. So, we set up something here for the residents to come to Clematis," he said.

Saturday the City of West Palm Beach started bottled water distribution with a site at Gaines Park. By Sunday, public works expanded to three sites at Gaines, Phipps, and Coleman Parks. But come Monday the three sites were consolidated back to one.

"The reason for that is when we had all three going, we were still 4:1 compared to the other ones from Gaines Park. We saw that one again today and we passed out over 30 pallets of water there," Assistant Chief Brent Bloomfield said.

He was asked why all water distribution sites have been East of I-95.

"We don't have a lot of areas like that in the city where we can push that many people through at that given time," Bloomfield said. "So that's why we stick with Gaines Park mostly. We did that with COVID testing, we did that with vaccines, and we're also doing it with water distribution.

Bloomfield said the city went to over 21 nursing homes throughout the day along with visiting folks who are homebound to pass out water.

Roberta said she wishes the city would set up a location downtown.

"The only place that I can go is Publix and buy a couple of bottles of water at a time to carry home," she said.

The School District of Palm Beach County put out a statement Monday. They said they have distributed bottled water as needed to the schools under the advisory.