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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Craigsville Faces Water Crisis: Schools, Residents, and Prison Affected

Written by: Sam Orlando

No Water Pressure Turns Into No Water at all for Craigsville Residents

CRAIGSVILLE, VIRGINIA - In the small town of Craigsville, Virginia, located in Augusta County, a severe water outage has left residents, schools, and even the Augusta Correctional Center without access to running water or restrooms. The issue, which began to surface early this week, has quickly escalated into what could become a significant health crisis, especially within the confined conditions of the state prison slated for future closure.

Residents took to Facebook to express their concerns and share updates. According to posts, the town has been grappling with water pressure issues that have now culminated in a complete water outage. "We woke up this morning to water, NO pressure" shared Esther Helmbold Grapes, a Craigsville resident, highlighting the growing inconvenience faced by the community.

Portable Toilets to Elementary School

The situation has prompted makeshift solutions, including the introduction of portable toilets to the local elementary school. However, delays in their arrival have forced children and staff to use restroom facilities at the nearby firehouse, which possesses a refillable tank. Stacey Clements, another resident, confirmed the extent of the outage, noting that some people "been out since Monday, mom and I been out since this morning and not sure when it will come back."

Some Residents Report Outages Since Monday

Mitzi Coulter lamented the prolonged duration of the outage, revealing that "it’s supposedly been out since Monday." The town's administration acknowledged the crisis in a social media post, stating that "The guys are working on it and hope to have it resolved" but did not provide a specific timeline for restoration.

Augusta Correctional Center's Water Crisis

The water crisis has also hit the Augusta Correctional Center, exacerbating the plight of inmates housed there. With the facility already under scrutiny due to its announced closure, the lack of water has raised concerns about the health and safety of its population. "The prison has no water either; it’s been rough. The town workers are working day and night to fix it, but so far, they get one fixed and another pops up" Cindy Sprouse reported.

Calls for More Action, Support

Residents have called for more immediate action and support. "Maybe Craigsville should bring in more help for the water situation. It affects a lot of people" suggested Betty Hostetter, highlighting the broader implications of the outage. The town of Goshen is reportedly assisting with efforts to bring water to Craigsville, though details on this aid remain unclear.

As the community rallies to address this urgent issue, questions about infrastructure and preparedness arise. Shawn Tammy questioned the efficacy of recent maintenance efforts, asking, "Haven’t the pipes been replaced over the summer?" The situation at the correctional facility further complicates the town's crisis, with Ryan P. Hughes linking the outage to the prison's closure and its impact on the town's water supply.

The town responded today by posting a county notice advising residents to boil water - should the water flow - until further notice.

The water outage in Craigsville serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities of small communities to infrastructure failures and the cascading effects on public health, education, and safety. As the town works to resolve the crisis, the immediate focus remains on ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all affected residents and institutions.

Important Note: Information for this article was gathered from public social media discussions and confirmed through releases from Augusta County. Efforts to reach town officials with the Virginia Department of Corrections for comment were ongoing at the time of publication.

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