Water Shortage Worsens In Clay County

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email
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A water shortage continues to get worse in Clay County where officials say water levels haven't been as low as they are now since 1999. With little relief in sight, many people are turning to a higher power in hopes of ending the extreme drought.

Pastor Doug Abner says miracles happen when people come together in his church, and pray.

For weeks they've prayed for rain at Community Church in Manchester. Abner says it was prayer that brought down a once corrupt city government and gave residents new hope.

"When we marched in 2004, it totally changed Clay County, Kentucky. We prayed for God to expose the darkness and here comes the FBI and Operation UNITE," Abner said.

Now followers say God will answer their need for water.

"If we pray for rain tonight and it doesn't happen tonight, that doesn't mean God didn't hear it and he won't answer it," said John

Eight weeks, that's how much time they have before the city's water source runs dry.

"If it doesn't happen, we'll all turn to dust and blow away, we won't have to worry about it. It's gonna happen. It's gonna rain, I promise you it will rain," Abner said.

In the meantime, these church goers say they'll continue to conserve water, but there'll be no shortage of what they call spiritual rain.

In neighboring Tennessee, Contemporary Christian Singer Michael W. Smith recently recorded a public service announcement for radio stations asking people to pray and fast to end the drought.

Below you will find the specific water restrictions for Clay County residents:

1. All water customers, commercial, and residential, shall restrict the outside use of water to three days per week (those days begin Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday). Commercial car washes are only to operate on the days of Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Watering of pets and livestock is exempt from the restrictions.

2. City and county fire departments are to restrict usage to emergency situations only.

3. All customers must repair leaks as soon as they become aware of it.

4. The City of Manchester shall close the swimming pool at the Beech Creek Recreational Center as of August 20th.

5. City officials will meet with all larger purchasers (Manchester FCI, Oneida Baptist Institute, Clay County Board of Education, Memorial Hospital, and local restaurants and apartment complexes) to develop plans to cut water usage by 15 to 30 percent.

6. Swimming pools can only be maintained at their current levels. The refilling of pools is prohibited.

Conservation of all water uses, accompanied by these restrictions, can reduce water use by 15 to 30 percent. Manchester Water Works users can extend limited water supplies avoiding further restrictions, by observing these bans and conserving water at all times.

If you have any question about the conservation measures, please call the Manchester City Hall at 606-598-6043.

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