Front Porch Blog

Construction Begins on Mingo County Waterline

No more boxes of rain! The KY News express has a story on the continuing saga of the people of Rawl and Lick Creek in Mingo County WV and their struggle to obtain clean drinking water.

Residents of Lick Creek and the surrounding areas of Mingo County will have access to public water within a year now that construction has begun on the area’s long-awaited water project.

It MUST be completed within 365 days according to Mingo County grant writer Sheila Erwin. Under extenuating circumstances, a time extension might be allowed, but is not expected at the moment.

The project will serve 245 families and approximately 707 individuals in the Lick Creek, Merrimac, Sprigg and Rawl areas of Mingo County. The residents have been working to get water in their areas for many years, making numerous trips to the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va. and making their plight known to anyone who might help them.

The KY News-Express even points out that the Mingo County residents were featured in National Geographic magazine and Vanity Fair (its ok…it’s a link straight to the article…)

Residents allege that an incident involving Massey Energy caused their wells to be contaminated. They have been relying on bottled water to bathe, cook and drink. The Mingo County Commission has been supplying water buffalos in tote areas over the past several years and bottle water was made possible this past spring through state money currently being managed by the city of Williamson, the closest municipality to the affected area.

The residents are currently involved in a civil lawsuit against Massey Energy, seeking damages in connection with the situation.

The project is totally grant-funded. Funding was made possible through the Office of Abandoned Mine Lands, Small Cities Block Grant Program, Appalachian Regional Commission, the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council and the Mingo County Commission.

Congratulations to all of the folks who have been working so hard on this, including App Voices interns and volunteers! We’ll believe it when we see it!





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