Thousands still without water in Estill County

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Irvine, Ky. (WTVQ) – As of Wednesday afternoon, about 2,700 gallons of water have been handed out to families without running water in Estill County. The bottled water is being handed out at the Estill County Fair Barn from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until water is restored. Only residents without running water can pick up the free water and must bring their water bill or account number with them. County officials believe about 2,000 people still don’t have running water.

Jackie Griffin, who picked up some of the free water Wednesday said, "It’s really a big help, and I think people here in Estill County appreciate this more than they know."

The problems started over the weekend as the county’s water storage tanks began to empty. The high demand was a result of people dripping their faucets to prevent their pipes from freezing. Broken pipes from the deep freeze added to the problem along with a power outage at the water plant.

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Water officials say they are making progress, but it will take more time to fully fill the system with water again. They hope to have water running to everyone in the county by the end of the weekend.

Until water is restored, county officials told families to shut off their water heaters and any inline pumps they used. When these tools are run without water, they can be damaged.

A portion of the county still has water, but it must be boiled for at least three minutes. Officials are asking those families to use as little water as possible. Every gallon they use is one less gallon another home can use in the county. The boil water advisory could continue for another week.