Thousands Remain Without Water Service

By: Julie Maloney Email
By: Julie Maloney Email

Thousands of Eastern Kentucky families are still without water and for many it's the third day. Hazard city officials say it's been a slow process trying to turn the water back on and a water main freeze Sunday morning just made things worse.

The inconvenience of having no running water at home is making many in Perry County upset, but church goers say they are trying to stay optimistic and say things could be worse.

Thousands outside the Hazard city limits have had no running water at home for days and as a result, those in attendance at the Lotts Creek Free Church was the smallest it's been in two years.

"Just didn't seem right because we usually have pretty good turnouts here. It was just odd to see so many empty pews throughout the congregation this morning," said Lotts Creek Free Church Pastor Mitch Fields.

On Saturday nearly five thousand customers who rely on the Hazard plant had no water but at the same time, dozens of cars lined up at car washes in the city using gallons.

"My dad's been having to get drinking water, nine or ten every day, and going out and buying more," said Jeremy Arnold.

A Food City manager says they sold almost an entire truck of water on Saturday and they unloaded another truck of water Sunday.

"Water is just one of many things in life we take for granted. We take many things in life for granted. You really don't know how much it means to you until you do without it," Fields.

"It makes you think about those who don't have water everyday, the impoverished children, third world countries. This is just temporary," Arnold said.

But city officials say there's good news. They hope to have all but approximately five hundred homes back on the water system by Monday.

When we asked city officials why the city has water and several parts of the county don't, they declined to comment saying it's too complicated to explain. They do tell us there is enough water in storage for all customers and they have staff working around the clock to get everyone's lines turned back on as quickly as possible.

Hazard Police Department officials say they have spoke to water officials and say people living in Combs, Dwayne Mountain, and Krypton should have water now. They say they are working on Route 80 and Route 476 and people in those areas can expect to have water sometime Monday. Officials say people living in the rest of the county could be without water for two to three more days.

City officials have issued a Boil Water Advisory for much of Perry County for when the water does come back on. A Boil Water Advisory is a public health advisory given by government or health authorities to communities when a community's drinking water is, or could be, contaminated by pathogens.

Under a Boil Water Advisory, it is recommended that water be boiled for several minutes in advance of consumption or use, in order to kill off as much of the bacteria and viral contamination as possible.

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