Water restored after rockslide in Knott County

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 1:43 PM EST
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After working all night to repair the water line damaged in the rockslide, officials with Knott County Water and Sewer tell WYMT service was restored early Friday morning.

They ask customers to be patient because they are turning the water back on slowly to make sure there are no other problems.

At one point Thursday afternoon, more than 15,000 customers were without water.

Original Story

Highway 15 is back open following a rockslide Thursday afternoon.

Drivers will still need to be careful because there is a lot of mud and dust on the road, lowering the visibility in the area.

The rockslide was about 500 feet from the intersection of Hwy. 160, at mile points 4 to 4.5.

"There were boulders piled up maybe 20 feet," said a truck driver Kevin Taylor.

Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said B&W Coal helped clear the road faster than they anticipated.

"It was so big it would have took us probably days to move it with the equipment we have," said Bobby Smith with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The rockslide caused a water line to burst, which slowed down the cleanup a little bit. More than 15,000 people in Knott County are without water. Knott County Water and Sewer said it lost about 600,000 gallons of water due to the line break.

"This is our main connection line to Letcher County. We serve the majority with wholesale customer and then about half of Knott County also," said Jared Salmons, the general manager of the water company. "If we can get it fixed in time our tanks should keep the majority of those in water."

The water company will send a crew out to fix the water line Thursday evening and may work long into the night. Drive carefully where crew members are working.

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