Independence County Judge Robert Griffin issued a disaster emergency proclamation for the county regarding water facilities.

“I have sent an email to all county judges to see how many have made such a declaration. In contacting the Governor’s office about seeking a federal declaration, it is paramount that all affected counties make this declaration also. I would estimate the sum total of affected water facilities across the state could rise to a level that federal assistance might be possible. This could be critical to helping the City of Cushman and many others make emergency repairs that could each be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Griffin wrote in an email.

After the record-breaking snowfall last week, aging waterworks across the state experienced leaks, low-pressure, and outages, causing boil orders in many communities.

National Guard troops brought clean water to the city in a large 2,000 gallon tank at the Cushman school.

While there is no timetable, according to Cushman Mayor Brittany Hurley as to when the city’s water will be back to normal, Hurley did say that crews are working as quickly as possible to do just that.

“We are currently searching for leaks just south of Cushman,” Hurley said. “We’ve had some breaks in the main line. There are crews out repairing the leaks as they go. We have the drone in the air using thermal imaging and infrared to help narrow down the search.”

Hurley added, “The main focus is to get the main line addresses and then we will work our way from there.”

Things began to unravel in Cushman on Friday when a multitude of leaks in the water system nearly depleted the water supply.

On Friday, Hurley said the leaks were “bad enough that we can’t keep water in the tanks.”

The city is still under a boil order until further notice, and if a resident has a leak, please shut off the water off at the meter and if help is needed contact Cushman Water at 613-4608 or 805-9137.”

Information for this article was also contributed by Bruce Guthrie

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