BALTIMORE — Wednesday afternoon, community activists gathered outside City Hall to show their support for the people of Poe Homes and call on a better response from the city after some residents went without sufficient water service for nine days.
The activists, and some Poe Homes residents, aren't happy with how long it took the city to address the outage and want to see increased transparency and accountability in future crisis situations.
Earlier today at Poe Homes, it seemed like life was getting back to normal. Toilet installations are done and all the trash was removed. The tenant council president was walking around visiting people to make sure everyone is doing okay. The Housing Authority of Baltimore City said Tuesday that all 281 units had their toilets replaced and had sufficient running water nine days after the water main break.
Over the weekend, the Department of Public Works installed a temporary bypass, but the water pressure was too low to service all apartments and effectively run all the old toilets.
Mayor Jack Young said today he supported the city's response and said lots of people pitched in to help get residents water, food and showers.
"We worked very hard to try and do what we could to make it more easy for those residents," Young said. "People said we didn't care, we do care. I care about every citizen of Baltimor,e and we showed that by our presence."
Some people at Poe Homes also have concerns about possible water contamination leading to break outs and rashes.
DPW environmentalists ran tests and say the results show that water quality is safe.
The Department of Health is working with residents who got rashes to see what they were caused by.
DPW still needs to assess the original pipe from the main break, and there's no timeline for how long Poe Homes will run off of the bypass.
The Baltimore City Council asked for a hearing with the Department of Public Works to talk about the water issues and how to handle future outages.