Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Update: CFPUA retracts water shutoff warning after New Hanover County finds fuel source

Residents of New Hanover County need to start making plans immediately, CFPUA stated.

Update: 12:30 p.m. — According to New Hanover County’s latest briefing, the county’s emergency management team has secured a fuel source for CFPUA. According to the county, staff “has helped CFPUA secure a fuel source, and there is no risk to water being shut off at this time.”

According to New Hanover County Spokesperson Jessica Loeper, the county’s emergency operations center staff were able to secure an “alternate fuel source for CFPUA through Colonial Pipeline.”

The briefing took place at 11:45 a.m., about 90 minutes after CFPUA sent out their press release, warning residents. CFPUA spokesperson Peg Hall-Williams said in an email sent at 11:48 a.m. only that “We are doing everything we can to keep our potable system up.”

Executive Director Jim Flechtner said the warning was sent out an “abundance of caution,” and confirmed that CFPUA was no longer in danger of having to shut off water.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — After surviving hurricane-force winds and record-breaking flooding, residents may now have to go without running water, as CFPUA is in “critical need” of fuel.

According to a release from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, fuel for generator-powered water treatment plants is running low and may be exhausted within the next 48 hours.

CFPUA says it is exploring “every avenue” to address the crisis, including bringing fuel in by ship or aircraft. According to CFPUA, residents need to begin making contingency plans for losing drinking water service immediately.

According to Peg Hall-Williams, CFPUA spokesperson, sewer services will still be operational — meaning residents can use water in buckets or a bathtub to flush toilets.

Below is the complete statement from CFPUA:

We are in critical need of fuel to keep our water treatment plants running. 

We are exploring every avenue to find a fuel source. However, if we do not get the needed fuel within the next 48-hours, we will not be able to continue water service for public health and safety such as fire suppression and other life-sustaining activities. Also, our customers will be without drinking water.

Basically, Wilmington is currently cut off from the rest of the state. Needed resources cannot get here by roads due to extreme flooding. CFPUA is now looking at ways to get fuel via ship or air.

It is with a heavy heart that we share this information with our customers, however, we want to give you as much notice as possible. Please begin to make contingency plans for you and your family. Now is a good time to begin filling up bathtubs and water jugs as a contingency to a loss of water delivery.

Send comments and tips to Benjamin Schachtman at ben@localvoicemedia.com, @pcdben on Twitter, and (910) 538-2001.


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