BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – A winter storm that brought subzero temperatures during Christmas led to frozen and busted pipes, along with water main breaks, causing nearly 75% of Raleigh County residents to be without water.
It continues to be an ongoing issue as the county-wide situation is in the process of being fixed.
The county commission, members of the Beckley city council, the Beckley Water Company, as well as public and emergency service personnel, met for a conference call on Thursday to see where the issue now stands. During the call, it was confirmed that there are 9 water tank systems and so far only two have water.
“They’ve increased about 30% of what they normally put out and it still isn’t raising the tanks,” says Raleigh County Commissioner, Dave Tolliver. “The tanks down Route 3 are dry, the three big tanks. You feel sorry for these people, but we’ve been through this before, when those tanks go dry down Route 3, three days is the best you can do.”
Following the state of emergency that was declared for the county on Wednesday, thousands of gallons of water continue to be distributed.
All day Wednesday and Thursday, tankers of water were set up at a couple of Raleigh County fire stations, as well as pallets of water were dispersed across the community.
There have been reports that residents’ water pressure is back up and many of the systems are now sitting at a better range, but it’s still not nearly the levels the systems should be.
“Beckley Water is pushing out 30% more water than a normal day and they still can’t get the tanks filled up, because of leaks, because of sprinkler systems in businesses, things like that that are leaking,” 911 Director, John Zielinski says. “So, that’s why we’re encouraging people to check their neighbor’s house, if somebody has gone on vacation, these houses need to be checked and these businesses that have been closed or abandoned.”
During the call, it was also announced that it still may be several days and into next week before all of Raleigh County would again have water.
The Ghent and Sophia fire stations would have water available starting again Thursday at noon, while the Traphill Fire Department would have some available starting at 4 p.m. that day until 8 p.m.
They encourage residents to call 911 to report any leaks and for assistance regarding a water emergency, and try to conserve water as much as possible.