Water Coverage: Swanton’s good SamaritanWritten by Don Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
John Myers said he’s never seen a “thank you” mean so much as it did the day Toledo’s water crisis began.
That’s the day he filled a 450-gallon farm tank from his well east of Swanton and drove it to Central Catholic High School in Toledo to give water to people whose tap water was suddenly undrinkable.
The day began, as it did for many people, with a long trip in search of water.
The Ursiline Center in Toledo, where Myers’ wife Valerie works, needed water and the Myerses set out in search of it. Wisely, they figured stores closer to home would be selling out of water so they drove 65 miles from their Lathrop Road farm to the WalMart in Angola, Ind. — an hour and 10 minutes on a good day.
The WalMart was nearly cleaned out of water, he said.
“Holy Mackerel, we were running into people we knew,” he said.
Myers figures that was because people from the area camp or have cottages in the Angola area and know other people there “and they ask ‘em to get them some water.”
Back to the Ursuline Center they went with $400 worth of bottled water in the pickup, only to be told the Central Catholic High School water distribution point could use some help.
“We figured we’d go up to (the water supply point at) Metamora (about nine miles north on the Michigan line) and fill the tank up there, and then we remembered that’s just Toledo city water,” Myers said.
So they filled the 450-gallon tank — a big white plastic cylinder squatting in the bed of the pickup truck — with water from their own farm’s well and drove it to Central Catholic, 21 miles from their farm.
Although bottled water was being distributed by the Red Cross at Central Catholic, people were glad to see Myers and sons and their water tank, from which they filled any container people brought with them.
“One lady brought a sprinkling can,” he said. “She said, ‘I’ve got to water my dogs.’”
Saturday night, Myers figured on going back to Central Catholic with another tank of water on Sunday. He was thinking about filling up at the Swanton Reservoir on State Route 64, which runs off Swanton’s municipal water system.
“City people are just more comfortable with chlorinated water,” he said, laughing.
Chlorinated or not, people were happy to see him and his son and their water Saturday.
“People were just happy. I mean, I’ve never felt so good in my life,” he said. “I’ve never felt people meant a ‘thank you’ more than I did today.”