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Governor declares emergency for town facing water shortage

June 18, 2022 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order Saturday declaring a state of emergency for a western Kentucky town struggling with a water shortage.

State officials are expected to travel to Marion to begin implementing a plan aimed an ensuring that families have access to water, the governor’s office said in a news release. Beshear took the action hours after receiving a request from Marion officials.

“Today’s action of declaring a state of emergency for the City of Marion is intended to put into motion all the things we, the state, can do to help alleviate the situation and provide support,” the governor said.

The water shortage in the Crittenden County town stems from having to drain Lake George, the primary reservoir for the town’s residents and businesses, because of a levee failure, the release said.

That, coupled with limited rainfall and unseasonably hot weather, has caused the water shortage to become critical, it said.

With the governor’s state of emergency declaration, state emergency management officials can begin to coordinate a response and relief efforts. And the Kentucky National Guard can mobilize personnel and equipment that may be required, the release said.