Thousands of water bottles flown from Fort Worth to Austin

After a slight hold-up due to a plane maintenance issue, 28,000 bottles of drinking water touched down at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Friday night.

"There are a lot of hands in this pot trying to help everybody out," said Captain Dave Ruthenbeck, a member of the Texas Air National Guard and one of the pilots on the plane.


The Texas Division of Emergency Management helped coordinate the delivery, and members of the Texas Air National Guard and Army National Guard helped load up, transport, and unload the bottles onto trucks to distribute in Austin.

"I lost power for about 35 to 36 hours a few days ago, and it was good neighbors and good company that kept us going, "said Captain Ruthenbeck. "I’ve kind of got my stuff in order at home, and I’ve got an opportunity to help and try and be a good neighbor to everybody else."


Captain Ruthenbeck said they’ve been flying multiple missions to get needed supplies to locations around the state. He said after unloading the shipment of water bottles in Austin, they would head back to Fort Worth to load up again and go wherever they were sent next. 

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The water bottles flown in from Fort Worth are some of many that the city will be distributing at sites around Austin. In an update on Friday, City Manager Spencer Cronk said they also made a bulk purchase of 1 million gallons of water that is expected to arrive on trucks throughout Friday night and Saturday.

Information on the locations of the water distribution sites was expected to be released sometime Friday evening. Read more about the city's distribution plan here.