SHREVEPORT, La. -- As many as 10,000 customers still had no water coming out of their taps Monday afternoon, even as two dozen city repair crews continued around the clock work to restore water service following the crush of last week's historic winter storms.
But William Daniel, director of Shreveport's Department of Water and Sewerage, says the city is making "steady progress."
He says the goal is for everyone to have at least some service on Tuesday. Most of the outages are in the Highland and Queensborough neighborhoods, and the area of West 70th and Pines.
"We certainly think by tomorrow everybody should have some level of service. That's our goal. But it could be that certain areas -- very small pockets of the city -- we're not able to do that," Daniel says.
He believes customers in the heart of the city are coming on line faster. He says it's taking longer "to push water out" to western Shreveport through the repaired pipe system.
"I think initially we might have underestimated how much water was actually out of all the pipes," Daniel explained. "We think in some cases there was no water in certain areas of town. And so we're having to fill up every single pipe. And of course, filling up the houses as we go along. So it's just a steady but slow progression of moving the water to different parts of the city."
For customers who still have no water service, Daniel is asking them to turn their faucets on.
"That will help us get the air out of the lines. That's one of the major impediments in getting water to people's households is the amount of air that's in the lines. And we're having to go from fire hydrant to fire hydrant bleeding air," Daniel explained.
That's why he asks that those customers with no water service to turn faucets on until they see water or hear air coming through.
Daniel says the biggest concern right now is to get water service fully restored to hospitals. Right now those hospitals are getting bulk water hauled in from the treatment plant. Daniels says that doesn't fulfill all the services hospitals want to provide.
He says the boil advisory may continue through the end of the week, as the city must first get service back to normal, followed by approval from the Louisiana Department of Health to lift the advisory.