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Magoffin County will get water from Lexington

Kentucky American Water, a Lexington-based company, is filling up a 1,000-gallon tanker truck with water Monday and driving it to an Eastern Kentucky county that is running out of water.

Residents in Magoffin County will be able to get free water for cooking and drinking beginning at 7 p.m. Monday at the Salyersville Fire Department on East Maple Street, said Kentucky American Water spokesman Brian Wright.

"This is just neighbors helping neighbors, which is what we do," Wright said Monday.

Wright said that if more water is needed, company officials will refill the tanker truck and make the trip again Tuesday. Wright did not know how much each trip and the water will cost the company, but he said Kentucky American Water customers will not be affected.

The water shortage in Magoffin County reached a critical level weeks ago. And, with little chance of rain this week, many fear it's just a matter of days before the county water supply runs dry.

The main source of water for the county and the town of Salyersville is the Licking River, which is not flowing. Some water is being pumped from behind a dam, but loss of that supply is imminent, officials said.

The town also has two wells, which produce about two-thirds of the water usually needed.

Local officials have declared a water emergency and asked residents to cut back on water use. They say people should use water only for health and sanitary purposes, as they look for ways to connect the town and county water systems with neighboring counties.

Paul Conley, a spokesman for Magoffin County, said officials are going to connect with Paintsville's water system this week to use in case of an emergency.

"It would not provide us with near the water we need on a daily basis," Conley said. "But if worse comes to worse, some is better than none."