The Herald, Sharon,
PA Published Friday, Oct. 30, 1998


County seeking information about quake-affected wells

Any chance of government assistance for residents who've seen their water wells go dry since the Sept. 25 earthquake depends on the county knowing exactly where and how many have been affected.

Fifty-four Mercer County residences reported their wells have gone dry since the earthquake.

The residences are all in areas nearest to the epicenter of the earthquake, including West Salem, Sugar Grove and Greene townships, according to a press release from the Mercer County Department of Public Safety.

In the days immediately following the earthquake which registered 5.2 on the Richter scale, the department received a few reports of dry wells, the release said. But recent reports indicate "the problem has grown has grown and continues to affect more residents as the days go by."

The release offered little hope to those seeking some assistance from the government for the problem.

"At this time, no funds are available from disaster relief agencies, nor would we want to create the false hope of such funding in the foreseeable future," the release said.

The county is compiling a report on the number and location of affected wells. To do that, Emergency Management Agency will staff two special telephone lines to document additional reports this weekend.

It is important, the release said, for people to understand the department is only looking for information related to water well problems.

Callers should be prepared to give the operator the name, complete address and telephone contact number of the residence; the date or time frame the well went dry in relation to the earthquake; the approximate depth of the well; and whether water shortages were experienced before the earthquake.

Phone lines will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The numbers to call are 662-6141 or 662-6142. Do not call the standard office numbers -- the administrative office will be closed -- and do not call 911.

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Updated Sept. 27, 1998
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