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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Beech Mountain - Questions and Answers About Our State Of Emergency

As many know and experienced, Beech Mountain had state of emergency over the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend resulting in water shortages.

Residents pulled together, conserving as much water as they could helping the town get through this emergency! Shout out to the residents!

The town did a fine job of keeping the water flowing, including bringing water up in tanker trucks while working round the clock over a holiday weekend closing the valve and getting our water levels back up to acceptable by Sunday.

I asked Tim Holloman a few questions and thought I would share with you the results.

Many people are asking why this work was done during a holiday week when we knew the mountain was going to be busy. It would be nice for the town to let us know. Was this the only time we could get a diver? Was it a maintenance schedule?
  • "Kelly, thanks for reaching out.  The time for this work was carefully thought out and dependent on the contractor’s work schedule.  The months of September, October and November are the best in regards to surface and groundwater recharge.  The work was supposed to be clean, video and assess. No repair work was planned.  This is just one of many routine projects and we don’t notify the public unless it has any effect on the operation.  If there was no accident, nothing would have been impacted.  The Town uses divers on a regular basis to clean water tanks, etc.  This is part of trying to reduce the amount of water that we have to release on a regular basis and to be in compliance with our existing state permit.  This, in turn, affects the larger project of trying to get a freshwater intake to the Watauga River."

There are many also saying that we had the grant to get this fixed four years ago but the town didn't want to spend the money. Included in this is that the valve hadn't been serviced in 10 years.  
  • "I’m not aware of any grant that we didn’t get or use.  I believe that prior councils had been informed of the work that needed to be done, but was not funded.  If I find out differently, I will follow up."

I heard the diver had broken limbs and surgery and wanted to see if this was true also. All the news reports said just hypothermia.
  • "No broken limbs and he was released Wednesday evening from the hospital."
  • Kelly - I also talked to some of the first responders. The diver was on an umbilical cord type oxygen so there was no worry of air running out. First responders pumped warm water to the diver keeping hypothermia at bay. Another shout out to our First Responders and their hard work saving this man's life!

Also, has this now solved the problem? Or is it part of other items. 
  • "The problem with the gate is not fixed, just closed.  Engineers and staff are working on the fix and there is no document available at this time.  The “looksee” was the purpose of the divers to craft a plan and document for repair at a later date."
I saw most of the Press Releases on Facebook, so if you are not a friend of the town you may want to add them to your friend list.

Make sure, if you haven't, sign up for CodeRed phone calls from the town. This is a great way to stay informed on everything from events affecting traffic to road closures, to public works work to everything that happened this past weekend.

Now go ahead and finish your laundry congratulating yourself and the Town of Beech Mountain for pulling this one out!

Would love to hear your thoughts or other questions?

1 comment:

  1. "First Responders" should be named. I know the Fire Department played a huge role in this and I would like to thank them for the rescue effort as well as the time they put in after the fact for obtaining and passing out water to citizens. The Club provided food on Thanksgiving Day, Sandy Carr gave up her dinner with friends on Thanksgiving to assist with the water handouts, police escorted the tanker trucks, Renee was by her cell phone and on site, available to anyone that had questions, YMCA made their showers available to residents and everyone I spoke with or saw were glad to accommodate the Stage 5 restrictions, which are now down to Stage 1. So glad I live in a small community where everyone works together.