Lake Perry flooding leaves community without running water

Local News

High water at Lake Perry flooded the wells for Lakeside Villages. Two weeks ago, the well pumps stopped leaving the community without running water. 

The Lakeside Village Board of Directors President Jerry White said they can’t fix the well pumps until the lake goes down again.

“We need to get a truck that can transport potable water,” White said. “We’re working with Jefferson County Emergency Management. We’re also working with FEMA.” 

The Fairview Volunteer Fire Department was taking a tank too and from Perry. The department stopped delivering water a week ago after it became too expensive to keep doing for free. 

For the last week, people have had to fill up their personal containers with water from the remaining supply inside the tank. Dick Robertson has lived in the community for more than 30 years, and experienced the same problem in 1993.

“The people that run this place up here are doing the best job that they can,” he said. “They’ve done just about everything they can to take care of it. It’s a little inconvenient so’s life.”

Another member of the community, Matt Salter, has something most of his neighbors don’t. 

“I have water now, but I was out for two and a half weeks and I finally got frustrated and said well I’m gonna figure something out,” Salter said. 

He used his expertise as a plumber to pump water into his house. 

“I reverse feed it into my house so it goes to all my fixtures,” he said. 

He said it’s not a solution everyone can afford. 

“I’m more concerned about the older people who don’t have a big truck, who don’t have a few hundred dollars that they can spend on a redundant water system for themselves,” he said. 

​​White said FEMA is providing them with a truck to bring in water for free. He said they can put that in the city water system so people can have running water again.

Some people in the community suggested building water mains to tap into nearby rural water districts. White said it’s not something he’s looked into, and he is relying on Jefferson County Emergency Management and FEMA to find the best solution.

A spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers said it’s up in the air when the lake will be low enough for the community to fix the wells. It depends on how much water they can release. It could be as soon as a month, or it could take to the end of the summer.

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