BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The water is back on at Poe Homes, but tensions are still high.

Community members held a rally in Baltimore Wednesday, voicing their frustrations over what they said was a slow response to a water main break that left the Poe Homes without water for days.

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“This thing became a sanitation and health issue,” one woman said at the rally.

Officials said the Poe Homes are still operating on a temporary bypass installed over the weekend after a 20-inch valve broke, cutting off the water supply for over 8 days.

The lack of water forced people to use bottled water to shower, cook and flush toilets or find alternative water sources.


The city’s housing authority tweeted Tuesday they’ve installed 287 toilets in 24 hours and that water pressure has since returned to normal, but concerned citizens at the rally said they’re frustrated with how long it took the city to respond to the crisis.

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Mayor Jack Young said that the Housing Authority of Baltimore City went door to door with city agencies handing out cases of water and offering to put residents in hotels.

“We worked very hard to do what we could to make it more easy for the residents,” Young said.

But some people are calling on the city to come up with a better emergency plan.

“Never again should we allow publicly elected, appointed officials not to be prepared or organized to respond quickly or expeditiously to a public health emergency,” one man said.

Council President Brandon Scott introduced a resolution on Monday, calling for a hearing with agencies on protocols in place and practices to assist residents during water outages. The date has not been set.

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Now that the water has returned, the city’s public works department said it still needs to assess the damage to the original pipe. They don’t have a timeline as to how long that process could take.

Kelsey Kushner