Winton under ‘boil water’ advisory

Published 4:27 pm Thursday, August 6, 2009

WINTON – A lightning strike is to blame for the town of Winton being without water today (Thursday).

Meanwhile, town officials are advising Winton residents, once water service is restored, to boil their water while tests are being performed to assure its quality.

“The town has been placed under a boil water advisory until the results of the water samples taken today (Thursday) are made known” said Hertford County Emergency Management Director Charles Jones who also is a Winton Town Commissioner.

Jones said water samples were sent today to a lab in Elizabeth City. From there, the results will be sent to the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) office in Raleigh.

“Once we receive the green light from DWQ, everything will be fine here on our end,” Jones said. “We’ll be able to lift the water advisory after that.”

The problem occurred after lightning struck a tree near the corner of Joyner Street and Jordan Street in the southwestern portion of town. That bolt jumped from the base of the tree to a nearby fire hydrant, causing the water line to rupture. That, in turn, drained the town’s water tank.

Jones said the problem wasn’t discovered until early Thursday morning.

“Once it was discovered, the water tank was completely shut down in order to make repairs to the ruptured water line,” Jones said. “There is water in the lines all over town, but there just isn’t any water pressure.”

Meanwhile, a lack of water forced some Winton businesses to close. It also led to the offices of Hertford County local government and the Hertford County Courthouse to close. There were also issues with the loss of air conditioning and e-mail in the government offices. Neither of those issues was linked to the water woes in town.

“I was told the air-conditioning problem was due to a motor burning-up,” Jones said. “I don’t know what caused the loss of e-mail.”

As far as what Winton residents can expect with their water, Jones asked for patience.

“We’re working on it as I speak,” he said, talking to the R-C News-Herald at shortly past 3 p.m. on Thursday. “We slowly have to fill the water tank and then get the water pressure back up. And we have to wait on the DWQ to give us the go-ahead that the water if safe in Winton without having to boil it. Hopefully we’ll be back up and running by 10 to 11 o’clock tonight.”