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Plumbers in high demand to fix broken pipes in Texas

Texas started permitting out-of-state plumbers to start working, which a local plumber said could come at a cost.

BEAUMONT, Texas — High demand for plumbers across Southeast Texas this week is an understatement. 

Texas started to permitting out-of-state plumbers to start working, which is a decision that one plumber warns could come at a cost. 

Broken pipes trigged emotions across Southeast Texas. 

Ester Morris said she has been dealing with six broken pipes and with each passing day, the wait for water only adds to her frustration. 

"It's been rough I tell you," she said. "Out here trying to look for water, it's very hard. No stores have it, well, the stores I went today didn't have any in there, unless it's a single one."

Like many across Southeast Texas, Morris needs a plumber, but the dollars and cents aren't adding up for her budget. She said this pressing need will have to wait. 

"I'm a low income person," she said. "So I got to do things as my income allows me to do. We'll just leave it God's hand and see what happens next."

Plumbers like Henry LaRocca said they wish they could help everyone who needs a hand, but since last week, the load has been non-stop. 

"I am working late in the evening and working weekends as well," he said. "We want to get our customers back, we want their homes back."

Among the biggest issues plumbers are facing is that the supply chain has become overwhelmed with customers across the state. 

"It's like going to grocery stores, you wanna get that loaf of bread and that milk and one or two meats, and so you can only get so much," he said. "We don't wanna hoard the stuff, and we just wanna get what we need to get out and do what we have to do that day."

In an effort to provide more assistance to Texans, Governor Abbott recently announced the state would start issuing provisional licenses to out-of-state plumbers. 

LaRocca said he has his doubts about the decision. 

"If you have a problem with warranty and insurance, who you're gonna call when the storm chasers are gone?" he said. "It's all good that people are wanting to help and come in and everybody needs help, just be sure you know who you're dealing with."

The state is also waiving some fees and examination requirements for plumbers whose licenses have expired.

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