GOLCONDA, Ill. - Despite the town's location along the Ohio River, it is grappling with a water shortage after the recent blast of freezing weather burst water pipes, draining its two water tanks.
Mayor Jon Broadway said the 650-resident Pope County seat is under a directive to boil any water they do use for cooking. However, he offered a bit of encouraging news:
One of the water towers is beginning to refill, and Broadway is hopeful water service will be restored within days.
Water in Golconda has been available intermittently since the water towers' supplies went low last week, though restaurants have closed because of the shortage.
Considering the inconvenience of finding alternatives to water used for drinking, washing and toilet use, "the people have been great," Broadway told the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan.
"I haven't really heard any complaints. Everybody has been supportive and helping look for leaks."
The two water towers together can hold 350,000 gallons of water.
For locals such as Julie Worthen, the water shortage has required thriftiness.
Worthen told WSIL-TV she used two bottles of water to make coffee and heated up water from three more bottles to take a sponge bath.
"So it's very difficult without water," she said.
Connie Smelcer, a cashier at the Golconda Food Mart, where supplies of bottled water have been nearly depleted, said she worries about the demand on water once service is restored.
"Everyone is going to start washing at the same time," she said.