Cumberland mayor declares state of emergency

Published 12:58 pm Sunday, December 22, 2019

Cumberland Mayor Charles Raleigh declared a state of emergency for the city of Cumberland after the city experienced a fuel spill on Friday. As a precaution, Cumberland Municipal Water Works has issued a “do not consume” advisory until further notice.

Raleigh originally took to Facebook early Sunday morning to warn Cumberland water customers of the recent events, adding the water plant was shut down briefly to address the issue.

“The DEP is on scene and clean-up crews are taking care of the spill,” he said to those concerned. “This is a precautionary measure to protect our water system, so please bear with us until the problem is resolved.”

Raleigh also issued a boil water advisory starting high-elevation customers and then added the rest of the Cumberland water customers. He added no fuel is in the water system, but the notice was issued due to low pressure in the water lines.

Cumberland Fire Department began offering bottled water to those in need on Monday morning after the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a consumer advisory and told customers they should not drink or bathe in the water until the advisory is lifted. Crews also collected water samples from the system to be analyzed to assess water quality.

Cumberland Municipal Water Works released a statement addressing the problem, stating the workers have “modified our treatment process to add another barrier to protect public health and remove contaminants.”

Raleigh said the company is taking precautionary measures as advised by the Division of Water.

“All of our testing in our plant, so far, shows no contamination and are at standard levels,” he said, adding they should have results from Frankfort later Monday evening. “While I understand concerns, please do not panic. We are making sure the water is safe before you drink or bathe in it, and as soon as we know the results we will inform you.”

Raleigh said for now, officials are continuing to pass out bottled water and deliver to those in need. Businesses and restaurants were instructed to follow their health department guidelines on how to deal with the issue.

For more information or if you’re in need of bottled water, call 606-589-2106.