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Bronx Residents Survive A Week Without Running Water

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- How tough is it to live without running water?

You can ask hundreds of residents in the Bronx who have been without water for most of the last week.

And as CBS 2's Magee Hickey reports it'll be a particularly difficult Thanksgiving for many.

"Seven days, no water, no water, that's all we get," Vanessa Diaz told Hickey.

Diaz has had it with trying to get five children off to school every morning with no running water.

"To get up every morning we have to take bird baths. Everyone's fighting. Everyone's in a bad mood. Then we go to my mother's in Brooklyn in the afternoon for a bath and then we come back to the Bronx," Diaz said.

The Diaz family is one of hundreds of families in six buildings in the Butler Houses who've been trying to get by without consistently running water for one week. It's all because of a broken fire standpipe system that's being replaced. Disabled Wilfredo Gonzalez said he has to wake up in the middle of the night to take a bath.

"Basically its in the morning when people go to work, to school, and there's no water running," Gonzalez said.

Neighbor Helen Melindez said she is worried about her health.

"I'm an asthmatic. I need to be drinking water all the time. If I don't have money to buy water. It's hard for me," Melindez said.

The city has pumps in front of the six buildings involved and they are well aware of the problem. But officials said it will take at least another 20 days to fix it.

On Monday, city firefighters were trying to make sure hoses could stretch from curbside hydrants since the interior standpipe systems won't be working for another three weeks. And many residents said that frozen turkey won't be thawed out this Thursday.

"You're not going to take a chance and start cooking it and then 12 noon comes and what are going to do? Throw it down incinerator?" Nancy Gonzalez said.

So it'll be sandwiches for the Gonzalez family until the water is back on.

The city Housing Authority said a water station has been set up at Butler Houses to provide water for residents in need. But the residents Hickey spoke with said they were never told that water in bottles would be provided.

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