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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City

School District Warns: Don't Drink the Water
4 Hrs Later, Lake City Police Dept. Sends an Email

COLUMBIA COUNTY/LAKE CITY, FL – According to the Columbia County School District's Brandi Keen, a broken water main has caused the City to issue a utility wide Boil Notice. An email sent from Ms. Keen reads in part: "The City of Lake City confirmed a Utility Wide Boil Water notice because of a broken water mainline on Brookside and US Highway 90. Students should NOT use the public water for drinking or hand-washing!"

According to Ms. Keen, "The District's Crisis Response Team met this morning." Ms. Keen said the Crisis Response Team is variable depending on the circumstances.

Superintendent Terry Huddleston
"The District Was On Top of the Situation"

According to Superintendent Terry Huddleston, "The District was on top of the situation."


LCPD Press Release hours later

Mr. Huddleston told the Observer, "We found out about the water main break from our Director of Maintenance, Fred Gaylord, about 7 am this morning. He had one of his guys out at the site because we already had some schools that were experiencing a loss of water pressure. He called me at 8 and we had a meeting at about 8:10 am."

The Observer: "Did the City ever send an email or anything to you?"

Mr. Huddleston:  "No. Fred's information was from his guy at the scene."

Mr. Huddleston continued, "Fred was told because of the break that there would be a Boil Water Alert. If a single school on the feed was broken, we're going to boil water anyway. Our main concern was students being able to wash their hands. We could cover that very easily with hand sanitizer. We have to go from a precautionary mode."

"Initially, we went on the information we had. If you're on City water, then you could be affected. We sent out an email to our principles."

The Observer:  The City has nothing on its website.

Mr. Huddleston concluded, "We have information that there is going to be an advisory area. The police department is going to release that."


                              The City's silent website

4 Hours Later: City PD Sends a Press Release,
City Website Silent

At 10:55 am, the City PD send out an email to the media advising of the "Water Boil Advisory." It did not mention the time of the water main break, at least 4 hours earlier.

The Lake City website at 12:45 this afternoon, had not posted the Boil Water Advisory.

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