Thousands in Eastern Kentucky still without water. Towns wonder how they'll pay for repairs

Beth Musgrave and Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Weather News

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Water and sewer crews from across Kentucky are headed to Eastern Kentucky to help counties and cities restore busted and broken water systems a week after deadly floods knocked out water service to thousands.

Approximately 13,590 customers are still without water, said Gov. Andy Beshear during a Thursday news conference at the Capitol. That’s down from 18,000 customers on Wednesday.

“The water systems are heavily damaged. Some are wiped out,” Beshear said Wednesday. “It’s going to take significant time and significant dollars to restore what was damaged.”

As the difficult work of bringing water back online continues, many towns, counties and local utilities worry about how they will pay for the needed fixes that could cost millions.

Fourteen waster treatment systems are under limited operations due to power outages and storm damage, Beshear said on Thursday. Three wastewater treatment systems are not operational, including Hazard’s treatment system. Two wastewater systems are on bypass, meaning at some point the wastewater treatment system shut down or was not able to process storm water. Thirteen wastewater treatment systems are experiencing discharges, Beshear said.

Multiple water systems are also under boil water advisories.


Beshear cautioned that it could take months to restore some systems that have seen significant damage.

‘You can’t do anything’

Running water is critical for rebuilding efforts.

Bert Baker lives in Perry County. His house was not damaged in the flood, but he has had no water for several days.


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