Macon County, Ala. (WRBL) – A water emergency impacting 1,500 residents was triggered when a lightning strike critically damaged water pumps at a power station on Monday, disrupting the water supply.

Emergency responders have been working tirelessly to address the issue, with workers on-site attempting to repair the damaged water pumps.

“We have a mediation team out there right now doing the repairs on it. We are hoping it will be fixed by this weekend,” said Frank Lee, Macon County Emergency Management. 

The urgency of the situation prompted officials to secure a replacement contractor swiftly to expedite the repairs. Although water pressure has been slowly returning, it remains inadequate, causing considerable inconvenience to residents. 

Macon County Sheriff André Brunson transferred 32 inmates to other detention facilities, a decision aimed at maintaining sanitary conditions for detainees.  He’s thankful for nearby sheriffs who answered his call for help.

“It was unsanitary; they couldn’t flush the commodes or wash their hands or take a shower,” Sheriff Brunson explained.

In response to the crisis, the Macon County Water Facility is distributing free cases of water to affected residents. For those who are unable to collect the water themselves, deliveries are being arranged to ensure everyone has access to clean water for essential needs. Along with giving out free cases of water, emergency officials are using a water tank to take it around to families so they can use the water to flush their toilets.

Adding to the challenges is the ongoing heatwave, with temperatures reaching dangerously high levels. Sheriff Brunson, who recently experienced heat stroke, emphasized the importance of staying hydrated during these extreme conditions. 

“But that showed me anyone is susceptible to this heat,” he remarked.

As the community awaits the full restoration of their water supply, Sheriff Brunson urged residents to remain cautious. It’s a good idea when water begins to flow, you make sure you boil until you hear otherwise. If you have any type of emergency, especially related to water, Sheriff Brunson urges you to call 911.