Elderly Memphis man battles burst pipes

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An elderly Memphis man who has fallen on hard times is asking for a little love on Valentine's Day.

Instead of getting candy on Sunday, Joe Brown, 75, spent Valentine's Day trying to fix leaky water pipes.

"My water pipe busted and my commode busted and my hot water tank's gone," Brown said.  "Everything."

Brown's pipe burst during the recent cold snap.  Friends said it happened at a time when Brown's utilities had been turned off due to a gas leak.

After Brown's utilities were turned back on there were several ruptures in his pipes.

"If he cuts it on right now, it's just water constantly running," said Brown's friend John Jackson.

Brown, an Orange Mound resident, also has problems with a leaky roof and a toilet that overflows.

Brown is also afraid to drink his water until the leaks are fixed.  For the past several months, he's been borrowing jugs of water from a neighbor.

Brown said he would like to move, but can not afford to.  He also does not have a birth certificate, making it difficult to get into public housing or find somewhere else to stay.

"I need somebody to help me," Brown said.  "If they don't, I'm getting out of here."

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