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Weather makes work to repair Howley’s water system all the more difficult

Workers start the task of lifting the intake off the bottom of Sandy Lake. - Photo courtesy Wayne Bennett/Twitter
Workers start the task of lifting the intake off the bottom of Sandy Lake. - Photo courtesy Wayne Bennett/Twitter - Submitted

Howley Mayor Wayne Bennett was worried the weather might postpone efforts to fix his town’s beleaguered water supply Tuesday.

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Despite a snowstorm bearing down on the region, he was impressed to see crews trudging on through the conditions to try and restore the water to residents.

The town has been without water since Sunday night when levels in the reservoir dropped to critically low levels. The effort to find and rectify the problem has been ongoing ever since, even if it’s been slowed a bit by inclement weather.

A dive team has confirmed that the screen on the water supply’s intake out in Grand Lake has not frozen over, according to Bennett. The job unfolding Tuesday was to lift the intake completely out of the water to remove the screen and further investigate the line to determine what the issue is.

“They are as busy as beavers down there,” said Bennett of the crew working in a portable shelter at the lake.

Bennett said a plow was on its way to town from Deer Lake to make sure a clear path was maintained for delivery of a diesel pump to help with the work.

The situation led to the Howley town council declaring a state of emergency Monday afternoon.

Bottled water is being delivered to residents for consumption and buckets are being filled so properties can have water to flush toilets.

Coun. Rod Kelly, who owns an RV park in town, has opened up his facility, which has its own well, so people can get a hot shower.

“Everyone is pulling together,” said Bennett.

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