Jan. 23, 2013 —
A water line break resulting from debris jammed under a bridge near Iron Hill has deprived nearby residents of water for five days and counting.
Employees from Grayson Utilities were initially notified of the break late Friday and implemented a temporary repair measure early Saturday morning. By the afternoon, however, the line had broken again.
Another repair was made on Sunday, but the line gave way again as the logjam continued to cause havoc with water flow.
Representatives from Grayson Utilities informed the Journal- Times that the Department of Trans- portation has been notified of the log jam, and that a local con- tractor was on the job all day Tuesday attempting to bore beneath the debris to create a path for water flow.
“The debris has certainly been a problem, but the flow of Tygart over the years has contributed to things as well. Originally, there was a hundred feet of continuous joint piping laid, which was enough 15 years ago. The flow of the creek over the years, coupled with the debris piled up, has caused this situation,” said Gerald Haney,
Grayson Utilities superintendent. Haney indicated that he plans to lay 300 feet of new line Wednesday.
The utility company estimates, however, that customers in the area will likely not have water until Wednesday evening at the earliest, and perhaps as late as Thursday depending on how far away from the line they live.
Tracy Justice Jr. lives near the water break with his family. They have been without an adequate water supply since Thursday.
“It started as just less pressure until you could only get a trickle of water from the sink,” Justice said. “We were told by utility workers that the break was affecting homes from Grayson, along the AA Highway all the way to Lewis County.”
Although Grayson Utilities could not verify the number of households being affected, Justic estimates that at least 300 homes are in the same boat as his family.
“Our local government is required by law to have contingency plans to provide drinking water, shower stations, water to cook with and hot meals provided to those who cannot cook in case of an emergency,” Justice said.
“This is lack of foresight and mismanagement of county resources on a sickening scale. This water outage we are currently experiencing was completely avoidable. This isn't something that happens overnight.” In the meantime, Grayson Utilities is giving away bottled water to affected customers, who are also welcome to bring in jugs or other receptacles to the office at 641 St. Hwy. 7 to carry
clean water to their homes until 4 p.m. After hours, customers can go to the water treatment facility at 199 Water Plant Road to pick up clean water. Limit two cases of water per household per day.