GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – Thousands of people in eastern Kentucky have been without water for several days, but water plant workers say this is not related to the chemical spill in West Virginia. Instead, they say the changing temperatures may be to blame.
With no water, the dishes are piling up in Barbara Delaney’s kitchen and hand sanitizer bottles have taken the place of soap near her sink.
“No water, but it makes a bubbly noise,” Delaney said, turning the handle on her kitchen sink.
The water went out Thursday at her house in Lloyd, just north of the city of Greenup. It came back Saturday, but not for long.
“I was at work all day, and when it came back on, I thought, ‘Well, I'll shower in the morning’ because I was so tired. And I woke up this morning and there's no water,” Delaney said on Sunday.
With stores out of bottled water from people affected by the chemical spill in West Virginia, Delaney said she’s fed up. She is among more than 2,00 people in Greenup County who have been without water for several days.
The mayor of Greenup, Ky. told WSAZ.com it’s a result of the change in temperature – from subzero temperatures to much warmer weather.
“The lines expand and then as they start to [thaw], the ground shifts,” Greenup Mayor Lundie Meadows said. “The lines start busting. That's when we see our problems.”
Unable to keep up with demand from customers, the main water tank in Greenup only has about 10 feet of water in a 35 foot tank. Shutting off water to parts of the system means the tank levels will be able to rise, creating enough pressure to pump water out into the county.
“Once we get levels up around 30 feet in the Greenup tank, then we can open up the Lloyd valve and start sending water to the folks down there that's been without water,” Meadows said.
Neighbors in Boyd County, in Catlettsburg, are facing the same problem.
“The past three days, we have gotten, ‘It'll be on this evening, it’ll be on this evening.’ Well, this is day four and still no water,” Lisa Barrett said.
Barrett said she and her family members are frustrated. While the Ashland Water Plant is allowing people to fill containers with water at its site, Barrett said some people don’t have containers to bring or a way to get to the plant, which is in downtown Catlettsburg.
“Praying that it’s on. Aggravated cause it’s not,” Barrett said of her feelings each time she tries to turn on the tap. “What I can't figure out is what we're supposed to do.”
She added, “It's just one of them things. Do the best you can with what you got, which ain't much right now.”
Mayor Meadows said the city has fixed more than 100 service line leaks since Monday and about five main line leaks. He said water plant workers are now trying to repair leaks.
The entire Greenup water system is currently under a “boil water” advisory. The county is asking people to conserve water and to report any leaks to the following numbers:
- the water plant: (606) 473-6757
- the Greenup city building: (606) 473-7331
- Greenup County E911 dispatch: (606) 473-1411