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Challenges of power outage in rural areas includes loss of water without generators

Posted at 8:02 PM, Aug 13, 2021

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — In rural Salem Township, township officials are urging residents to contact them if they need water for people or livestock.

Fire Chief Jim Rachwal said they're even offering to use their rigs to truck hundreds of gallons of water to farmers for their horses and other animals.

"It's about community," Chief Rachwal said in front of the fire department where there's a water hose for residents without power in their township to fill buckets or whatever can hold the water they need to get by until power is restored.

In rural areas where there are no municipal water lines, they rely on wells and pumps to provide water for everything from cooking and flushing the toilet to getting water to animals on the farms.

"We're out on wells out here so unless you have a generator, you're not going to be able to get water," Rachwal said.

Down in Freedom Township, a farmer with a number of cows to keep well hydrated is using a tractor to power his generator. He's on his second tractor after the first one ran out of gas.

A number of residents in rural areas have generators because they know when the power goes out, it could be several days or longer before it's restored.

Power in rural areas is often restored later than more densely populated areas because electric companies often look to make repairs first in areas where the result will mean a greater number of households having power again.