The volunteer fire chief of Orme Tenn. wakes up at 5:30 am three days a week and makes a dozen round trips to a fire hydrant in Alabama, filling a fire truck with water, and bringing it back. At 6 pm the mayor turns on the water for the town’s 145 residents for three hours. That’s all they get. The town has run out of water. All water is being trucked in.
They’ve received emergency federal funds to build a pipeline from Alabama, which might be completed by Thanksgiving.
[The mayor] says the crisis in Orme could serve as a warning to other communities to conserve water before it’s too late.
“I feel for the folks in Atlanta,” he says, his gravelly voice barely rising above the sound of rushing water from the town’s tank. “We can survive. We’re 145 people. You’ve got 4.5 million people down there. What are they going to do? It’s a scary thought.”
If the drought doesn’t break, we may find out. Yikes.
The US Drought Monitor map for Tennessee shows the recent rains definitely helped some, but that 50.4% of that state is still in “extreme” or “exceptional” (the worst category) drought.