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Houston Church Puts Out Nationwide Call For Plumbers To Help Homeowners In Need

Getting busted pipes repaired is likely to be a challenge for a while after the cold subsides.

Home damage from a burst water pipe.

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A Houston church is organizing teams of volunteer plumbers from across the country to help repair the thousands of homes with busted water pipes, as plumbers in Greater Houston struggle to keep up with the demand right now.

Ecclesia Houston, which has two locations – downtown and on the westside – has gathered helpers in the aftermath of tropical storms and hurricanes. But the church's pastor, Chris Seay, said the winter storm is new, and finding skilled volunteer plumbers has been a little more challenging, especially since other parts of the country are dealing with similar issues right now.

The response has "been slow so far, much slower of what would be typical," he said.

Seay said people are also reluctant to travel because of the pandemic. "But we're definitely getting some interest and we've got a few folks that were starting to plan to book,” he said.

Once the plumbers are here, the plan is to send them out in teams.

"Part of our strategy with Hurricane Harvey (was) just, we'll find an area that's significantly impacted, usually it's an area that's under-resourced, and we tend to work in that area," Seay said.

The church is paying for the volunteers' flights, accommodation and food.

"Some Texas barbecue will help these plumbers, hopefully, get through," Seay said. "Whoever we get to come here, we're going to feed them well and just try to keep working until everybody is hopefully back to some kind of normal."

Houston Public Works said it fielded almost 3,000 calls by the end of the day Thursday for water breaks, the majority of which were in homes and businesses.

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