Magdalena still suffering from water problems

Posted at: 06/19/2013 10:40 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

In the town of Magdalena, every drop of water is precious.  The town has declared life threatening conditions after their sole drinking water well dried up.  Now residents have to sign to get water, one case per person every other day.

"I feel bad about that but at least they still have drinking water," said Sandy Julian, Mayor of Magdalena.

The town has applied for emergency funding and is waiting for help from the state while businesses are struggling to keep their doors open.

"We're trying to do everything we can to not close, we don't have the money or the resources to continue to keep it open the way it's running," said Dara Hafey, owner of Magdalena Mercantile and Laundromat.

Jonathan and Dara Hafey own a laundromat that used to be open 7 days a week.  Since water dried up, the town has forced them to close 5 out of 7 days a week.

"The water is our business. The laundromat is what supports us. Without it, we're out of luck," said Jonathan Hafey.

There's another problem here.  This week, the Mayor canceled Magdalena's Old Timers' Festival, which brings money into town.

"Magdalena will die if we don't keep our businesses going right," said Linda Mansell, owner of M&M Grill down the street.

Linda Mansell laid off her workers when the well went dry.  She thinks canceling the festival was a mistake.

"We probably wouldn't have had to cancel Old Timers' that brings in thousands of dollars of revenue into this town, which is next month which carries all of these businesses for at least a couple of months," said Mansell.

A town without water, with businesses struggling to stay afloat.  But Magdalena's Mayor is optimistic.

"Our town has survived all these years, it's going to survive," said Julian.