Craig Day, News On 6
OAKS, Oklahoma -- With our historic heat wave, many towns are experiencing water problems. People in the Delaware County town of Oaks have only had water service for two hours a day.
With the help of volunteers full of Oklahoma can-do spirit, that won't be the case much longer.
With every swing of the shovel, Gus Theros thinks of the cool water that will soon be on its way to people in Oaks.
"It's hot, but somebody's got to be out here," he said.
Every single excessively hot day since a new water line project began, Theros has been here volunteering. He's not getting paid a dime.
The payoff will come later.
"Right now our water is just like gold," Theros said.
The city well isn't pumping enough, so people in Oaks only get two hours of water service each day.
"Hey I tell you, there's people crying for water," said Bill Brickey, another volunteer.
The Cherokee Nation is putting in a new six inch line, providing employees, equipment and expertise.
But volunteers are doing a lot of the hot, dry and dusty work, too.
"It's not a big deal; it just pleases my heart, you know, to come out and do this," Theros said.
The line will connect Oaks to Delaware County rural water. The project is a little more than half way complete.
Altogether, crews will lay about 6,300 feet of pipe. Every rock larger than an inch and a half in diameter has to be removed from the trench. It's a labor-intensive project that couldn't be done nearly as quickly without the help of volunteers.
Those volunteers and Cherokee Nation employees are putting in 12 hour days to get water to people who desperately need it as soon as possible.
"If you ain't got water, you ain't got nothing," said volunteer Bill Brickey.
But there's something that is flowing freely: kindness, generosity and hard work.
"It just reflects on everybody here in Oklahoma, how we work together," said volunteer Kevin Martin.
It's hoped the water line will be finished by Wednesday.