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Water Troubles in Two McDowell County Municipalities

MCDOWELL COUNTY, W.Va. – Two McDowell County municipalities are dealing with water issues this week.

The pump drawing water to feed the water treatment plant at Gary seized up Tuesday morning and as a result the City cannot refill the storage tanks until a new pump arrives.

The pump is ordered and work is underway to remove the old pump so installation of the new pump can begin the moment it arrives.

City officials spent the day Tuesday arranging repairs and obtaining emergency water. Details will be released as soon as possible.

A Social media post by Lawerence Barber, the city’s Recorder, indicates water service will be interrupted for three to five days.

Barber also said the estimated cost to replace the bad pump would be $25,000 with an additional $4-5000 installation cost.

Local Delegate Ed Evans made contact with the Governor’s Office to request National Guard support with a water tanker to supplement Gary’s water needs. As of press time, Gary officials were expecting the tanker to arrive this afternoon.

The Town of Bradshaw also lost a pump, but is still maintaining about half of the water tank supplying 62 customers with water.

“We’re keeping up with the water use, no one has had to cut back,” said Mayor Brian Harrison. “I think it really hit yesterday when almost all the water was sucked out of the tank. I think everyone was getting their stuff washed up.”

Harrison said he had been in contact with U.S. Representative Carol Miller’s office, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Region 1 Planning & Development Council, and McDowell County Public Service District to seek help and advice.

“We’re waiting on cost estimates right now so we can have a number on what it will take for repairs,” said Harrison.

Harrison estimates the pump’s age to be between 35 and 40 years old and believes a power outage last week may have caused the damage.

“Region 1 filed a grant for us to begin upgrades, but they are also waiting on the cost estimates,” said Harrison.