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‘Slowly but surely,’ services restored

Power has been restored to Silver Creek and an estimated 90percent of Monticello and water has been restored to most ofFranklin County, officials said.

“We’re slowly but surely getting power up,” said Lawrence CountyCivil Defense Director Robert Patterson.

Power companies repaired a substation near Silver Creek duringthe weekend to bring that town and Monticello mostly back into the21st century.

However, he said, reaching homes in the county is still provingto be a challenge. The latest estimate Patterson has received is aminimum of two to three weeks before power can be restored in theoutlying areas.

“There’s just so much damage, so many lines down,” he said. “Ittakes time to restore that many lines.”

The return of power has somewhat eased the gasoline crunch inMonticello but has also brought out new problems. Now that thestations have the power needed to pump the gas in their tanks, thelong lines that have been common in other towns have emerged.

“They say that will be better in a few days,” Pattersonsaid.

County officials and volunteers are continuing to offer ice andwater at the old Kellwood Building in Monticello and at SilverCreek City Hall. The New Hebron distribution point, which was atthe attendance center, was relocated to city hall during theweekend, Patterson said.

A regular distribution schedule still cannot be prepared becauseof the distance the trucks are traveling on their deliveries andthe availability of the items, he said.

“We’re still hit and miss (on deliveries),” Patterson said.”Please bear with us. We’re doing the best we can to get everythingfixed as quickly as possible.”

In Franklin County, Civil Defense Director Mark Thornton saidonly one water system remained to be fixed to have water fullyrestored.

A Franklin County Water Association system supplying PleasantValley, south of Eddiceton, is still down, he said. Thorntonestimated that particular part of the system supplies 150 to 200people.

Power, however, remains a serious issue. The eastern half of thecounty, between Meadville and the Lincoln County line, is stilldark. Some power was restored during the weekend but “not much,” hesaid.

“They’re working on it continuously. We had crews arriveMonday,” Thornton said.

In the meantime, he said, volunteers are still helping to passout ice, water, and, when available, meals-ready-to-eat.

“We distribute until we run out each day,” Thornton said.

Distributions are made at 9 a.m. at the old garment factory inBude, Roxie city hall and the East Lincoln Volunteer FireDepartment.