Water emergency declared in Ga. city

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Water emergency declared in Ga. city Tuesday, 25 July 2000 22:48 (ET)

Water emergency declared in Ga. city

GRIFFIN, Ga., July 25 (UPI) - A Georgia city declared a state of emergency on Tuesday because of a water shortage blamed on an extended drought.

The Griffin Board of Commissioners declared the emergency afterhearing that the city's water reservoir had only 26 days of water remaining, based on current usage patterns.

"It's not an easy decision to make, but as the water supplier for this community, we have to do what is best for the private citizens," interim city manager Lisa Hutcheson said.

Griffin and surrounding areas have been under water restrictions since June 13. Industrial customers have been asked to reduce water usage.

Griffin-area clergy are organizing a community-wide prayer meeting for Aug. 4. "The blessing we need right now is rain," King's Way Christian Center senior pastor Clay Padgett.

The Heads Creek Reservoir, which is used as a source of water when the Flint River is too low, currently holds about half of its normal 600 million gallons, said Water and Wastewater Director William White.

About 60,000 people live in Griffin and surrounding Spalding County, about 40 miles south of Atlanta.

Four nearby Georgia counties have banned outdoor watering because of the drought. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency said it may truck drinking water into the area.

Georgia has only received about half of its normal rainfall this year and May was the driest month in Georgia in more than 100 years.

Officials in another central Georgia city, Eatonton, about 80 miles southeast of Atlanta, decided in an emergency meeting to dig wells to keep water flowing to customers. Eatonton city councilman Powell Griffith said the Little River, which supplies the city's water, "is drying up."

"If we can drill some wells, we could squeak by until we get some rain," Griffith said. The city imposed a outside watering ban two weeks ago.

-- Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 26, 2000

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