UPDATE: The city of LaFayette installed a temporary bypass line and full water service was restored on Friday. Boil water notice was lifted Saturday. Construction of the road repair is underway
LaFAYETTE, Ala. (WRBL) – The City of LaFayette is declaring a State of Emergency after 11 inches of rain forced a massive breach and pipe failure at LaFayette’s water reservoir.
The city is scrambling to make the repairs as three thousand residents, dozens of businesses, schools, and government facilities are without adequate water.
“It’s gonna take a lot of work, but I’m glad nobody was hurt or killed,” said Lafayette City Councilperson, Michael Ellis as he surveyed the massive crater where Chambers County Road 48 was sliced in half.
“Our city lake overflowed which caused erosion and caused the whole road to collapse eventually causing the water main that comes from the lake to the LaFayette water treatment facility to the water plant to wash away. So right now we don’t have a way to pump water from the city resource to the treatment facility and then pump it to town,” said Ann Gleaton, the City of LaFayette’s Superintendent.
Allen Tucker works with county engineering through Harmon Engineering.
“When the road went out, it took that pipe with it and it left a hole. We estimate 20,000 yards of dirt to fill it. So what we have to do is fill the hole up with dirt so we can repair that pipe and get it back in service,” said Tucker.
20,000 cubic yards of dirt are roughly 1,000 truckloads of dirt. The city and county will bring in an outside contractor to do the work. The repairs could take days, a week, or two weeks. Officials say a timeline can’t be determined yet. The city is working to distribute bottled water to families.
Meanwhile, Chambers County Sheriff Nelson is working on providing bathroom facilities to the courthouse and 117 inmates at the county jail.
LaFayette is purchasing water from Huguley, so some taps are flowing but the pressure is down and a boil water notice is in effect.
“Conserve what you do get. We are getting a little bit of water from Huguely, but it’s not near enough so please don’t use more water than you have to,” said Tucker.
If you can get water out of your tap, make sure you boil it for at least three minutes before you consume it.