Years ago, 80-year-old Barbara Willis was singing show tunes.
Now the city of Houston Water Department has her singing the blues.
"I thought I was going to faint, I said I know I owe them some money but not that kind of money," Willis said.
Willis's water bill is over $9,000.
"I know I owe them money but not $9,000," Willis said.
For years, Willis and her 79-year-old neighbor who didn't want to go on camera said they've been telling the city to come out, locate and read their water meters.
"I can't go out there and dig up the ground I'm 80 years old," Willis said.
A spokesman for the city public works department told us for some unknown reason it took 6 years for the city to find the elderly women's buried water meters.
No that search wasn't in some jungle terrain, but rather the manicured lawns of Ashton Oaks Subdivision. Maybe it's her address, Willis wonders that makes the city think she can just hand over $9,000.
"I don't have $9,000 like that no, I know people think because you live in this neighborhood you got a lot of money but I don't," Willis said.
Willis said she inherited the home and is getting by on a fixed income.
The city spokesman told us they didn't expect either elderly resident to pay the huge bills, that they were only estimates and the bills will be adjusted and lowered soon.
But no one with the city bothered to tell Willis that.
"How many people in Houston do not have a water meter that they're estimating the bill and they're going to end up falling down with a 9 thousand dollar bill," Willis said.