POCA, W.Va. — Residents of Putnam and Kanawha counties are coping together following a water main break in Dunbar that affected 25,000 West Virginia American Water customers on Tuesday.
The break, which affected customers west of Dunbar through Buffalo, has resulted in decreased water pressure, and for some, no water at all.
But misfortune tends to bind the masses.
Members of Poca United Methodist Church continued to serve their community Wednesday despite the heat and distress brought on by a lack of consumable water. The church’s parking lot was one of many emergency water distribution areas.
Dreama Ward, director of the Five Loaves, Two Fish Food Pantry, said four palettes of 40-pack bottled water had been delivered to the lot by Wednesday morning.
“We get food from USDA that comes out of Huntington, and they called me this morning at 8:30 a.m. and wanted to know if we wanted water, and I said yes.” Ward said.
Ward said the pantry, which feeds 200 individuals each Saturday, was a miracle.
“The good Lord provides,” Ward said. “The shelves can be empty and then for the next giveaway they’re filled. We’re blessed.”
Eric Wells, 40, was among those who received water from the church.
“We didn’t know what was happening,” Wells said. “We weren’t informed by anyone first of all, and until the news came on, we’d just heard it through the grapevine.”
Shortly after receiving the news by word of mouth by other tenants, his water pressure decreased and eventually ceased working altogether…