Officials continued to scramble this week to revive water service in parts of a northwest Georgia county after flash flooding submerged pumps and flooded buildings.
Chattooga County officials said water for 8,000 customers in Summerville, Menlo and surrounding areas remained out of service through much of this week.
Chattooga County emergency management officials said that one water pump was operable at the town of Summerville’s plant but work continues to revive two others. Officials are nervous that flooding damaged electrical components within the plant, but flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries loaned fans to the town to attempt to dry out critical components. Other machinery that controls the pumps that push water into distribution pipes was being replaced Tuesday.
Another areas were being told to boil water to remove possible impurities.
Water was being distributed by government agencies and personal groups, with showers being offered to those without water in nearby Trion. Affected residents were also being offered hot meals, flood cleanup supplies and clothing.
Three trucks stuffed with bottled water and relief supplies arrived at North Summerville Baptist Church before 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“It’s a God thing,” Pastor Sammy Barrett told WGCL-TV. “If you happen to put the word out, and should you pray hard enough, God answers your prayers,”
County schools canceled classes through at the very least Wednesday.
“Without water, we’re unable to flush toilets, wash hands, drink from the fountains, or prepare lunches,” Chattooga County Superintendent Jared Hosmer wrote in a message to the district’s students and families.
The smaller Trion city school district, which gets its water from a separate supplier, held classes Tuesday. Chattooga County offices and courts were closed, with some county buildings amongst those flooded in Summerville.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is scheduled to tour damage Wednesday in Summerville after earlier declaring a state of emergency in Chattooga and Floyd counties.
The National Weather Service says radar estimates show 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 centimeters) of rain fell inside several hours, with higher amounts in some areas. Forecasters say a really moist atmosphere and winds that pushed storms along a stationary frontal boundary, arrange conditions for what they called “an anomalous event”
It’s the second time lately that some Summerville residents have gone without clean water. In 2020, the town advised residents to not drink the water, although they may still use it for other things, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found high levels of some chemicals. Town raised rates to construct recent wells.