With a significant snowfall over the last week, some residual effects need to be dealt with in the aftermath.
Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said there is some work to be done, and that the city of Cushman has “significant water problems.”
“Cushman water authority is having a significant breakage in pipes laid in the 1960’s,” Griffin said. “The cold weather has created a water shortage of significant hours and difficulties reestablishing services.”
Griffin said he will be looking for a grant to help with the costs of the repair and has reached out to state political figures as well as Congressman Rick Crawford and Senator John Boozman.
“It’s not a county responsibility, but we are trying to help,” Griffin said.
Cushman Mayor Brittany Hurley said there are a few leaks that have been found.
How bad are the leaks?
“It’s bad enough that we can’t keep water in the tanks,” Hurley said.
We are currently have a boil order until further notice,” Hurley said. “We are working as hard as we possibly can to get the water turned on for the Cushman residents. We are asking all customers to please look and see if they have a leak, if so to please shut off the water off at the meter and if help is needed contact Cushman Water at 613-4608 or 805-9137.”
Hurley said she has been on the phone with Independence County Emergency Management Director Glen Willis, and has put in a request with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management “to see if I can get the National Guard set up to pass out water to residents until we get the leaks resolved.”
Those requests have been approved according to Griffin and Willis.
“I have the National Guard coming from Corning,” Hurley said “Batesville Station 3 will be their fill up point and I am making arrangements to set a 2,000-pound tanker at the Cushman fire station for the public to come gain access to water. I am getting someone now to clear off the road up there.”
Hurley said she would like to get enough money to replace the water system, an endeavor that she said was going to be “very expensive.”
“We are currently working with others to get grants so this does not happen in the future,” Hurley said. “We need a grant that we are eligible for. Our water loss is near 72 percent. Until we can get the loss down, we aren’t eligible for certain grants.”
Hurley is coordinating with Batesville water to refill water at Spring Mill.
While Hurley said it wasn’t possible to give a time estimate on normal water usage.
“We are currently trying to narrow down the biggest leaks,” Hurley said.
She did urge citizens to conserve water as much as possible.
“People are using it faster than we can pump it,” Hurley said.
Other municipalities have a bit better plight after the winter weather cleared.
Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said Batesville’s snow total is up to a foot in some places, but that the city’s water supply remains intact.
“Batesville’s system is rated for 12 million gallons per day,” Elumbaugh said. “The water department has been busy repairing leaks all over town which is common in freezing temperatures.”