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Some Raleigh County residents enter a third week with no water

The water storage tank at the head of Drews Creek sits bone dry on Wednesday.

NAOMA, W.Va. — Most of Raleigh County is back in water service after a massive outage over the Christmas holiday, but not everybody. Some residents are entering a third week of no water and the frustration has reached maximum level.

“It’s to the point where we’re tired. We just want to take a shower. We just want to wash our clothes. We’re tired of going to the creek to get our water. We’re just tired. We want some answers and we want it fixed,” said Nancy Bailey of Drew’s Creek.

She’s one of an estimated 70 plus households along Drew’s Creek and Peachtree Creek who still have no water service. Not everybody remains without service in the area, which makes the situation even more confusing and frustrating.

“I don’t understand it,” she said. “People on down Route 3 have water and they have water at Naoma, but up the hollow it’s hit and miss. Some do and some don’t,” she said.

Amber Dickens is another who is battling for a third week with no water.

“I’m not going to lie, it is hard. I have teenage boys and an 11 -year old little girl and that’s a big family to cook for. I take a half-case of water bottles just to feed them. Then you’ve got to brush their teeth and clean them. It’s awful,” she said.

Calls to the Raleigh County Public Service District revealed largely the same answers according to customers. They’re aware of the outage, they’re working on it and hope to have the service restored by this evening.

“We’ve heard that I don’t know how many days now,” said Bailey.

The most recent explanation involved an air lock in the lines which was a setback to pumping water up into the two areas where the outages remain. At the head of Drews Creek is a large water storage tank which remained bone dry on Wednesday. Danny Gilfillen lives a couple of miles down the road from the tank and he too is frustrated.

“I understand you have to fill lines up to get pressure built up, and they did that for ten miles below us, but we still don’t have any water up in the hollow and don’t know what for sure is going on,” he said.

Gilfillen and others have pitched in to try and help provide water to those who have none and are unable to get out and get it on their own. They’ve made water available at a local towing service in the center of the Naoma community. Gilfillen and others have been hauling water to those who can’t get out.

“We’ve handed out over 800 cases of drinking water and we’ve given out between 2,500 and 3,000 gallons of non-potable water for people to flush with,” he explained.

Both Bailey and Dickens’ families have rigged up pumps to a creek or nearby spring to run a temporary water hose to their house for washing and flushing the toilet.

“We have a sump pump in the creek with a water hose from the creek to the house. I’ve been using that to fill up the washing machine to wash what laundry we can. We have to have clean clothes to go to work,” said Bailey.

“You can use it for dishes and you have to boil it. But, you can’t cook with it though since you can’t drink it. It’s been awful, just awful. Sixteen days is too much for anybody, let alone a family of six,”

Dickens said.

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