MOUNT VERNON — Relief is on its way to rural Knox County residents who are suffering through the loss of power and consequently no access to their well water, through the assistance of the federal, state and local emergency management agencies.
Monday afternoon, 18 pallets of water, arrived at the Mount Vernon Fire Department for distribution to areas of the county that continue to deal with the 90 degree heat and no electricity and no water..
“FEMA has been working the state and said they were working on a shipment of water coming in,” said Richard Dzik, acting EMA director for Knox County. “I made the call (Sunday) night saying we were in need of water in some of our rural areas.” Once the water finally arrived, Dzik started to make contact with representatives in the Martinsburg, Bladensburg, Brinkhaven areas, as well as some outlying parts of Fredericktown and Danville, to make arrangements to pick up water. “The biggest reason is that there are still a lot of people without electric that don’t have running water in their house, we want to make sure there is access to some of it in their communities,” Dzik said. Dzik said some of the supply would be used by the Red Cross in its cooling stations. Harry Skinner, external affairs officer for FEMA, said the federal office works closely with state and local EMA directors in order to determine what is needed and how to get those needs fulfilled. He said every situation is different and his office facilitates everything from housing needs to water and generators. This particular storm, the emergency declaration was for water and generators. Areas such as Marietta and Gallia County in southern Ohio already received a shipment of water, much like that which arrived in Mount Vernon on Monday. Generators can be made available to facilities such as hospitals, water treatment facilities, health departments — agencies that offer services to citizens. “Unfortunately, we cannot supply generators to individual citizens,” Skinner said. FEMA will pay for 75 percent of the cost of the water. The remaining 25 percent will come from state and local funds. Monday’s water shipment came from Frederick, Md., to a staging area in Columbus. From there it is distributed to needy areas all over Ohio. Water is being distributed today at these sites: •Bladensburg Fire Department, 3790 Market St. in Bladensburg and 187 Market St. in Martinsburg until 8 p.m. tonight. •College Township Fire Department, 102 E. Brooklyn St., Gambier, until midnight tonight. •Eastern Ohio Joint Fire Station, 23059 Coshocton Road, in Howard, and 7 W. Walnut St. in Danville until 8 p.m. •Fredericktown EMS, 122 Columbus Rd., Fredericktown, until 7 p.m. In Mount Vernon: •Mount Vernon Fire Station, 200 W. Gambier St., until 8 p.m. •The Salvation Army, 206 E. Ohio Ave., Mount Vernon, until midnight. For those in need of large quantities of water for family use, as well as for pets and livestock, the Mount Vernon Fire Department, 200 W. Gambier St., has spigots hooked up to a fire hydrant to fill gallon jugs or larger containers of water.