Leakage from scores of broken water lines virtually emptied the Greenup water system’s main tank, forcing supply shutoffs to the Lloyd and Coal Branch areas, Mayor Lundie Meadows said.
The shutoffs interrupted water service to about 2,000 customers, Meadows said. Greenup County schools were closed Friday and so was Greenbo Lake State Resort Park.
The 300,000 gallon tank had dropped to a critical level because of service line breaks and then a main line to those areas sprang a leak, Meadows said. He ordered the shutoff to maintain service to the rest of the system.
On Friday, workers were preparing to find and fix the main leak. Once they find it, the supply will have to be shut off again to fix it.
When it is done, the repair procedure calls for slowly restoring the supply. That could take up to 24 hours because the plant’s processing capacity is 1,200 gallons per minute, Meadows said. All the lines are empty as well, adding to the amount of water needed for complete resupply.
Water department workers have been toiling to repair smaller breaks since Monday’s vicious cold snap. Water supply throughout the system is low but adequate.
Ordinarily, Greenup could augment supplies by buying water from Cannonsburg, but that system is having similar supply difficulties because of the cold, so none of its water is available, Meadows said. The same goes for Ashland water. Meadows called on customers to conserve water until it is restored, and to continue to use water conservatively after that until the tank is filled.
Meadows estimated supplies returning to near-normal levels by late Saturday.
Schools were closed in the Greenup County district Friday after having been open only one day this week. Schools were closed Monday through Wednesday because of the extreme cold and only reopened Thursday, Superintendent Steve Hall said.
The water shutoff affected Greenup County High School, Greysbranch Elementary and the district’s administrative offices.
Greenbo will remain closed until supplies are restored.
Meanwhile, Flatwoods on Friday was reduced to an approximately five-hour supply of water when Russell, its main supplier, temporarily shut off lines because its own supplies were low.
Russell’s water plant is chugging along at top capacity, but it is making up for supplies lost earlier in the week because of line breaks. Some of the breaks were in eight-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch water mains, so storage tanks were seriously depleted, Mayor Bill Hopkins said.
Raceland also depends largely on Russell water, so supplies were limited there too.
Russell later Friday reopened Flatwoods and Raceland lines enough to ensure adequate supplies for firefighting and other public safety needs, Hopkins said.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2652.