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Hundreds remain without running water in Johnson County

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Thousands remain without water in Johnson County. Paintsville Utility officials say it is primarily in the northern and western parts of the county along with some customers in Lawrence County. Officials say it is a slow but steady process to get the water back on.

Life without running water...more than 1,000 people in Johnson County have had dry faucets for days.

Jessica Click says, "We went down to the creek about 11 o'clock last night to draw some water to be able to flush toilets. Other than that we've not had water to wash dishes, do laundry, or anything."

The reason? Officials say last week's freezing temperatures.

General Manager Eric Ratliff says, "We experienced a lot of water main breaks, customer service lines froze up and then burst."

Water crews say restoring service to all customers is a slow process as they are working to make several repairs and their system plays catch up because along with those main line breaks, thousands of gallons were also lost in individual meter breaks.

Ratliff explains, "For example, with one burst there was more than 400,000 gallons go through one meter....a couple others that had more than 200,000 go through just one meter."

Losing that volume of water, with a plant that pumps 2,100 gallons per minute...officials say it is hard to catch up.

"Once they do have service back, please conserve so we can get water to all the individual homes throughout Johnson County," says Ratliff.

Water crews say there is gradual progress with some homes and schools now receiving water, and they continue to ask customers to be patient. They hope to have everything back to normal by Wednesday or Thursday.

Officials say as you get water back it is safe to bathe in and do laundry with but there is a boil water advisory for water that will be consumed.

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