Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

‘A bad situation’

Water lines freeze, burst, creating havoc

County and city water departments throughout Letcher County are searching for leaky pipes and monitoring the water levels in tanks.

“Most tanks are low,” said Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward. “It’s just a bad situation.”

Ward said Tuesday that the county’s tank levels are decent, but not good.

Jenkins Mayor Todd Depriest said water was turned off to two sections of downtown Monday evening in an effort to refill water tanks.

“Three hundred gallons more a minute is going out than usual,” said Depriest. “We have searched two days for a main leak.”

No main line leaks have been detected, but Depriest said but water lines have burst underneath homes and residents assume the water is frozen.

Jenkins crews were out Tuesday going meter to meter in an effort to locate burst pipes near residences.

“I hope people have patience with us,” said Depriest.

Tanks in Whitesburg were beginning to fill back up Tuesday afternoon.

“If we had a leak, we still have a leak, but for some unknown reason the water level is picking back up in those tanks,” said Whitesburg Mayor James W. Craft. “ We’ve had all kinds of leaks, but none major that would be draining the tanks like that.”

Fleming- Neon Water Company employees were going around the system Tuesday afternoon checking for leaks.

“ There were so many leaks,” said Stephanie Rose, Fleming-Neon Water Company office manager.

Letcher County Water and Sewer District fed water to Fleming-Neon through the Rockhouse tank connection, Ward said.

Fleming-Neon customers living in Haymond are still without water.

Nearly 400 customers of Letcher County Water and Sewer District located in the Burton Hill area down to Cornettsville also don’t have water, according to Mark Lewis, general manager of Letcher County Water and Sewer District.

“ They are working as hard as they can to fix it,” said Ward.

The county picked up a load of water from Wilmore and have distributed it to Letcher and Fleming-Neon fire departments. Customers must present a water bill to receive gallons of water.

“We are trying to make sure those customers get water,” said Ward.

Boil water advisories are still in place while crews are checking for leaks and turning water off and on.

Up to two inches of snow fell Tuesday morning and Ward said road employees were out clearing roads again.

“We’re doing the best we can,” said Ward.

Letcher County Sheriff ’s Deputy Eugene Slone said the sheriff ’s department has responded to 30 calls since February 15 involving medication, food, water, stranded motorists and lack of heat.

Several residents across the county grew frustrated last week when countymaintained roads hadn’t been scraped because of equipment failures caused by below-zero temperatures.

Gillis Halcomb, 67, of Craft’s Colly, used his fourwheel drive Jeep to help stranded neighbors get to and from their homes.

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