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City Of Dallas Among Many Handing Out Water After The Freeze

IMG_5189.JPG Wrapped, plastic water bottles stacked in an orderly array with some volunteers to the left, in front of a white City of a Dallas pickup truck
Bill Zeeble
Stacked water bottles in Dallas' Fretz Recreation Center parking lot await clients who will drive up for a free pack of bottles. Masked volunteers stand by to put the water into car trunks or truck beds.

For North Texans without water, it was a day to round some up. One place to get bottles was Dallas’ Fretz Park in North Dallas.

Monday at the park, volunteers standing by stacked pallets of water bottles helped load them into cars that pulled up every few minutes. All the water workers wore masks. Scott Peterson pulled up in his pickup.

A volunteer asked “want me to put it in the bed of the truck?”

Peterson replied. “Yes. Absolutely.” He said his apartment pipes froze five days ago.

“I have no water at my apartment. The water’s cut off. It's frozen. I spent the last two nights there and it was rough,” Peterson said. “But I have family in Rowlett I can stay with them and take showers there.”

After Peterson pulled away, Alex and Hazel Portray drove up. Alex was grateful the city was distributing water. Hazel, her tail-wagging pit bull, stood in the passenger seat.

“I’ve used snow as toilet water,” Portray said. “Right now, in my apartment complex, we’re using pool water as toilet water. I’ve used several gallons of bottled water for showers every day.”

Portray then said Hazel could use a bath too, she’s overdue for one.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.