Hugo Residents Without Water

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

City Officials in Hugo were forced to turn off the city's water supply this morning, after a possible contamination. They are redoing the water plant, and this morning an indicator malfunctioned.

Water overflowed into the work area, so Hugo officials shut the water plant down.

Water buffaloes and bottled water became two staples in Hugo Thursday. The six thousand people in town were without water.

"We probably had an indicator malfunction and it got into the clear well, so we had the plant shut down," said Tom Pence, Hugo City Manager.

The clear well is filled every night, and the water hadn't been distributed to the city when they discovered the leak, Pence said.
They drained the clear well, and gave samples to the Department of Environmental Quality for testing.

"I was kind of stunned because you pay for this water and they shut it off," said Diedra Ashalintubbi, who moved to Hugo a month ago.

Diedra took her laundry to nearby Idabel, and stored water at home in pans. She has bottled water to drink in the meantime.

Firefighters stood by with water, and Hugo schools superintendent was forced to cancel classes Friday. No water means no plumbing, or water to cook meals. Superintendent Tony Daugherty is trying to look on the bright side.

"We didn't like for this to happen, but it couldn't come at a better time," Daugherty said. "We have a lot of sickness and a lot of teachers and people out that will get a 3 day rest, so that's the positive thing about it."

Results from the DEQ should be available by Friday morning.

"We hope to have this on back on tomorrow. We will take the proper precautions to make sure the process is the safest," Pence said.

The Choctaw Nation supplied water for residents who needed it. Eight National Guards came to Hugo with four trucks worth of water.

Grant, OK also helped with the efforts. Their schools are closed Friday too.


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