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County Judge issues Disaster Emergency Declaration regarding water crisis

Photo credit: City of Cushman, Arkansas on Facebook

Late Tuesday morning, Independence County Judge Robert Griffin made a Disaster Declaration regarding water issues in the county.

Currently, the City of Cushman in Independence County is facing a water crisis due to the impact of the harsh winter weather on the city’s system.

“In contacting the Governor’s office about seeking a federal declaration, it is paramount that all affected counties make this declaration also. I would estimate the sum total of affected water facilities across the state could rise to a level that federal assistance might be possible. This could be critical to helping the City of Cushman and many others make emergency repairs that could each be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Griffin stated in an e-mail to local media.

White River Now’s Gary Bridgman spoke with Cushman Mayor Brittany Hurley Tuesday morning about the situation.

Mayor Hurley said Cushman Water District personnel are working “feverishly” to find leaks in the system and make repairs.

Hurley said that Susan Coe of the Arkansas Rural Water Association is now assisting the Cushman Water District.

Hurley has also asked the National Guard permission to keep the 2,000-gallon water tank at the former Cushman school to assist in providing water to 500 district water customers until service is re-established. The remainder of district customers remains under a boil order until further notice.

The mayor said it appears now that most of the problems with a breakage in the water line are south of Cushman.

Hurley said White River Now the response from the number of people outside the community and across the state who have reached out and offered assistance has been amazing.

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