You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Cape Fear Utility Critically Low On Fuel, Warns Of Water Shortage

Patch logo Patch 9/16/2018 Daniel Hampton
a glass of water © Provided by Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media

WILMINGTON, NC — Homes and businesses in Wilmington and other parts of New Hanover County may lose drinking water because a major utility is critically low on fuel. Hurricane Florence has dumped a whopping two feet of rain on Wilmington and surrounding areas so far. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority warned residents to prepare for the worst in a statement on its website Sunday. They could lose drinking water if the agency doesn't get needed fuel within 48 hours.

"We are in critical need of fuel to keep our water treatment plants running," the utility wrote.

It said it is exploring "every avenue" to find a potential fuel source. If it's unable to, water service for public health and safety — including firefighting and other vital services — will halt. Flood waters have made it impossible for authorities to access the area.

"Basically, Wilmington is currently cut off from the rest of the state," the agency said. "Needed resources cannot get here by roads due to extreme flooding."

The agency is considering trying to get fuel via ship or aircraft.

"It is with a heavy heart that we share this information with our customers, however, we want to give you as much notice as possible," the utility wrote.

Customers are asked to begin making contingency plans, including filling up bathtubs and water jugs.

Further updates will provided as soon as possible.

Wilmington was one of the cities that suffered the brunt of Florence's wrath. Wilmington police on Friday reported the first Florence-related deaths. A woman and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their home. The baby's father also was hurt and was taken to a hospital, police said.

More than 100,000 Duke Energy customers in New Hanover County are in the dark and a slope collapsed at a coal ash landfill in Wilmington. Stormwater "may have come into contact with coal ash from a lined landfall" at the Sutton Power Plant, Duke Energy said.

Photo credit: Shutterstock


More from Patch

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon