Big Country residents repair broken pipes themselves as hardware stores run low on supplies

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The winter storm may be over, but many in the Big Country are still dealing with the long-term impacts caused by last week’s freezing temperatures.

Many residents have busted pipes, and because of the high demand for plumbers, they are having to fix them themselves.

Bible Hardware is seeing a flood of customers looking for materials.

It may seem a little chaotic, but Larry Vaughn says it’s just part of his job.

“They tell me their problem, they show me their pictures, and I try to find them what we’ve got in stock that will put them back together until it works,” said Vaughn.

Vaughn works in the plumbing department.

Monday he came in at 8 a.m., and by 10 a.m. he says he had already helped almost 50 customers.

“We’ve got three people over here almost walking all over each other,” said Vaughn.

One of those customers, Jimmie Taylor, had a pipe burst under his home.

“I went under the house and there’s water squirting out, [it was a] flood,” said Taylor.

Vaughn tries to help customers as much as possible, but without some of the tools, fixing the problem can become difficult.

Bible Hardware says it is running out of PVC and CPVC fittings. Managers are currently on the hunt for more.

“We’re just buying up whatever we can get.” said Vaughn.

Until they can get additional material, Vaughn says to tread with caution and make sure to double check your pipes.

“It’ll come apart, especially if you’re using PVC glue, if it’s not cured good, it’ll pop off. If you’re using dressers, if they don’t have some sharp teeth in them, then it will pull apart,” said Vaughn.

For now, employees are staying busy and it will likely stay that way until everything is cleaned up.

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