Thursday, November 01, 2007

Breaking News - Tennessee Town Out of Water

Posted by The Associated Press - 6 Hours Ago
Tennessee Town Has Run Out of Water
by Greg Bluestein

ORME, Tenn. (AP) — As twilight falls over this Tennessee town, Mayor Tony Reames drives up a dusty dirt road to the community's towering water tank and begins his nightly ritual in front of a rusty metal valve.

With a twist of the wrist, he releases the tank's meager water supply, and suddenly this sleepy town is alive with activity. Washing machines whir, kitchen sinks fill and showers run.

About three hours later, Reames will return and reverse the process, cutting off water to the town's 145 residents.

The severe drought tightening like a vise across the Southeast has threatened the water supply of cities large and small, sending politicians scrambling for solutions. But Orme, about 40 miles west of Chattanooga and 150 miles northwest of Atlanta, is a town where the worst-case scenario has already come to pass: The water has run out.

The mighty waterfall that fed the mountain hamlet has been reduced to a trickle, and now the creek running through the center of town is dry.
. . .

He says the crisis in Orme could serve as a warning to other communities to conserve water before it's too late.

"I feel for the folks in Atlanta," he says, his gravelly voice barely rising above the sound of rushing water from the town's tank. "We can survive. We're 145 people. You've got 4.5 million people down there. What are they going to do? It's a scary thought."

1 comment:

Wes said...

It is all over, Alex. From the Athens, GA Banner-Herald.

Four Northeast Georgia counties likely will be able to withdraw water from the Middle Oconee River until the end of the year, giving the drought-stricken region enough water to last several more months.

Officials with the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority and the state Environmental Protection Division met Thursday to discuss extending the authority's 45-day emergency permit to take 15 million gallons of water a day from the Middle Oconee.

The permit expires Nov. 12. If it's extended another 45 days, the Bear Creek Reservoir that provides water to Barrow, Clarke, Jackson and Oconee counties will last "well into the winter," rather than hitting the three-quarters-empty mark in mid-January, authority Chairman Melvin Davis said.

And still our own state legislature is playing political power games rather than dealing with what the people really need.