Water service restoration continued by fits and starts Wednesday on the Greenup system as workers continued to repair leaks.
Storage tanks were filling, but officials were delayed in resuming the flow of water because of electrical difficulties.
The ice storm Tuesday night knocked out power needed to operate pumps and the telemetry equipment that monitors vital information about water levels, Mayor Lundie Meadows said.
Water level in the system’s main storage tank was at 28 feet, inching closer to its 35-foot capacity.
By late Wednesday afternoon workers were releasing water from the Argillite tank to that community and preparing to release water from the Cherokee tank. Meadows expected water to be restored to the Big White Oak and Little White Oak areas by Wednesday night.
Between 1,000 and 1,500 remained without service Wednesday, Meadows said. Most of them have been waterless for days. He anticipated restoration to most, if not all of them, by today or early Friday.
More bottled water was on the way, Meadows said. He expected it to arrive today for distribution at the city fire station.
City water workers have been laboring long hours fixing leaks, he said. His nine employees and a contract crew worked until about 2 a.m. Tuesday and then turned out at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday for another shift.
Thousands have suffered service losses over the past week as a result of multiple line breaks. The breaks drained tanks which in turn depleted water pressure through widespread sections of the system.
The breaks were caused by rapid temperature shifts, in one case from single digits to almost springlike weather. That caused the ground to shift and pipes to snap.
The breaks didn’t all happen simultaneously. More than once, officials believed they were almost ready to declare victory when further breaks set them back.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2652.