Water outage

A water outage hit the Black Camp Gap and Fie Top area of Maggie Valley Monday night, sending crews into an all-night and all-day marathon to get it fixed by late Tuesday afternoon.

Workers with the Maggie Valley Sanitary District scoured lines in the dark and through freezing temperatures to locate the source of the line rupture. Some hadn’t slept in 36 hours by the time they got it fixed and could finally head home, hopefully in time for supper Tuesday.

“We are very thankful they are so dedicated,” said Lisa Combs, one of the Maggie residents who was without water. “It was so cold last night, but they worked so hard to track it down and get it fixed.”

The outage only affected an estimated 25 to 30 residents, but the outage area included some rough terrain, with crews walking lines with flashlights throughout the night.

“That’s just a little bitty portion of our service area, but that’s a lot of ground to cover,” said Karen Barnett, the office manager for Maggie Valley Sanitary District. “It took them all night to find that.”

When they finally located the source of the outage Tuesday morning, it wasn’t good news. The rupture was inconveniently located where the main water line crossed beneath a creek.

“Because of environmental reasons, we can’t dig in the creek. So they had to put in a couple of valves on each side to cut the water flow off to where they could get a temporary line slid through the current line,” explained Barnett.

Barnett said crews were determined to get water restored before heading into another evening with below-freezing temps, which could have put some residents’ lines at risk of bursting.

“We had to get people back in water,” she said.

Combs said she was thankful to be able to flush the toilets again and had resorted to bottled water to make coffee. She called the sanitary district office when water came back on to thank them.

“I said to make sure to tell them ‘thank you’ from at least one person,” she said.

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