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Breathitt County water supply compromised, shut off

Posted at 7:30 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 19:30:56-05

JACKSON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Often times, help can come from a place you’d least expect. This morning in Breathitt County, a bus from Hazard arrived carrying a group of men who are all spending time at a treatment center recovering from drug addiction.

“This is definitely the high you can’t buy,” said Tom Wilson, who has now been drug-free for 13 months.

Wilson and his fellow recoverees came to help assist in Jackson, where thousands of residents have been displaced from their homes. Not only that, thousands more were left without running water today after the county water district had to shut those lines off. It’s all due to damage from flooding resulting from Sunday’s storm.

“We’re just here to make anything easier for the community and the people around here,” said Derek Mills, a reformed addict himself who now sponsors several of the men in treatment.

Mills and the guys helped deliver, unpack and load up food, water, blankets, bathing supplies and other necessities, all of which were donated and handed out at the First Church of God.

“We’re estimating about 2,500 people have a total loss; talking about vehicles, homes, everything. And they have no place to go,” said Patsy Clair from the county’s Hunger Alliance.

The bright sunshine that’s bathed the Commonwealth since Monday has been helpful as the water level has receded in many of these flood-ravaged counties. However, for many, all that’s done is expose the extensive amount of damage that’s been done. Officials we’ve spoken with all week think it’ll take months to recover. Some believe many business owners will never return. But many who live here may not have that choice, and they will need all the help they can get to get back on their feet.

“We’re glad to help out. Anything we can give back to the community is a blessing, really,” said George Adams. Adams is six months into his recovery from drug dependency.

“Service work is a big part of our program. We work on a 12-step program,” he said.

All 12 are certainly critical, but you’d find a lot of people here who probably believe the step they took today was the most important.