Water Woes Continue

Nearly four thousand people in Letcher County still can not drink their water tonight, after a petroleum spill contaminated the Whitesburg water supply earlier this week.

After investigating, Division of Water officials have already cited the company responsible.

For Gloria Ramsey it is another trip to the Whitesburg Fire Department to pick up water.

“Very frustrating. I can't do my washing, I can't do anything unless I do it with the water that they give us,” she said.

Division of Water officials say they traced petroleum to a damaged storage tank on the Kentucky River earlier this week and issued a notice of violation to Don Childers of Childers Oil, Inc. who they say is responsible for the spill. His company was cited for a similar incident back in November.

“I think it's ridiculous that this fuel or whatever it is has gotten into the water system twice in the last, very short period of time,” said Lloyd Mullins of Mayking.

“It's very discouraging that this has happened twice in three months,” said Judge Executive Jim Ward. He says the county is considering legal action.

“It's not right for the county to bear the burden of what was done. We'll have to look at some kind of legal aspect of it,” he said.

In the meantime he says the latest test results from water samples taken Tuesday show water going into and out of the plant is clean, but water further out in the system is still contaminated and requires flushing. For now, it is waiting on the latest round of test results.

“If these test results are as we anticipate they will be, then it looks like we're nearing the very end of this thing,” said Whitesburg Mayor James Craft.

It is a hope he and others in the county is hold on to.

Don Childers was unavailable for comment this evening.
If the next round of test results come back clear, the earliest the advisory will be lifted is Monday.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Lynn Location: Mayking on Feb 22, 2009 at 07:35 PM
    I live at Mayking and I pass where the oil tanks are being stored to get to my house . those tanks have been there for about 5 years or more. why now would someone want to go and turn over a tank to be mean ... My question is why is there still petroleum in these tanks ? if this was a regular person that did this they would be in jail. Mr. Childers will get a million dollar slap on his hand .... and laugh about it. it is pocket change to him . Where are our state officials at when you need them .. folded up in his wallets I guess .
  • by Somebody who has a mind of their own Location: Whitesburg on Feb 22, 2009 at 04:16 PM
    People in Letcher Co. are so STUPID! You need to be looking at your County officials, the city's mayer, and the water Co. Get all your facts straight before you open your mouths about anything. Stop and think for one second, the source of the spill was on Fri. and our county and water company didn't pick it up for three days, is the water plants filter working the way it should? It sounds like to me the answer would be NO, esp. if if takes 2-3 days to pick it up something as strong as petroleum and then WHY is it not filtering th water properly? Ask yourselves that. Then get your facts straight, the only reason why Blackey's water sysem was effeted was because they has to borrow water from Whitesburg and the only places that was effected was the cities closet to Whitesburg. Furthermore, oil and water doesn't mix, the river that was polluted just doesn't run in Letcher Co. but runs out of the county, no one else water has been effected. Think about it!
  • by Lee Location: Pike on Feb 22, 2009 at 02:53 PM
    I work in Letcher County and visit several residents per day who are suffering from the lack of water. This is ridiculous for the residents of Letcher Co. I work only 8 hours per day in Letcher Co. and I get upset when I can't get a cup of ice, or wash my hands thoroughly in the restrooms; so I can only imagine what the residents are experiencing. When will this be taken care of?? When will the residents feel safe to have water? The hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare offices are so severely affected that when you walk in the facilities, it does NOT smell clean. For the residents of Letcher County, I hope your are doing as well as possible and hopefully, you will be able to have water soon!
  • by pam Location: letcher on Feb 22, 2009 at 11:17 AM
    you know maybe if we as a county would stand up against don childers it would stop his monopoliztion of all the gas stations and make him a more responsible human being by actually having to think about something other than his pocket book
  • by Ned Location: Jeremiah on Feb 22, 2009 at 03:24 AM
    The Letcher County Commonwealth's Attorney should indict Don Childers for his terrible carelessness or at the very least impanel an special Grand Jury to investigate why this incident happened twice in 3 months. If it were all totaled up hundreds of thousands of dollars have been lost because of the careless actions of Don Childers.
  • by priscilla Location: jenkins on Feb 21, 2009 at 11:46 PM
    You know there is alot of eldery people that needs water like my husband granmother and with all the money that don childers make it looks like he would keep up his business that is ashame he is so grettie with his money he wants ever last penny from u and if u don't he will take you to court...he needs to be suied by the county this is happen twice in just a couple months apart thanks
  • by James Location: Whitesburg, KY on Feb 21, 2009 at 09:50 PM
    Many people might not know that this same spill goes right on down the river just a few miles to the Blackey Water Plant that services the lower end of Letcher County and Isom, Kentucky. So this has affected 2 water plants and 3 cities. The Blackey Water Plant has issued a water advisory also.
  • by Lynn Location: Letcher Co. on Feb 21, 2009 at 07:37 PM
    If Don Childers was in least concerned or regretful of what has happened twice in 3 months, he would issue a public apology, but of couse he does not care, because when the opportunity by the press to talk about it, he is "unavailable". He does not care if hundreds of people, are so horribly inconvenienced, to put it mildly. Everyone in Letcher Co. should boycott every business connected to the Childers corporation!!!
  • by Nanna on Feb 21, 2009 at 07:09 PM
    let em drink Mountain Dew....
  • by bill Location: whitesburg on Feb 21, 2009 at 06:53 PM
    I think that the whole county should sue childers oil for what they have had to put up with this time and last fall.Who knows how much this has cost the public. I belive that the only this company and the man who owns it will learn what it cost is to have him pay back to the county,people and business what they have lost in time and business.Also he should have pay every person effected by this.That is the only thing that he understands is money. I bet you that if you owe him he will have his employees or his lawyer collect for him.
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