10/12/05 — Rifle shots cause leaks in towers

View Archive

Rifle shots cause leaks in towers

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 12, 2005 1:50 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County law officers are searching for a vandal or vandals who shot holes in two of the county's water tanks over the weekend, causing huge losses of water in the Summerlin's Crossroad and Kenansville areas.

Someone using a rifle shot a hole in a 500,000-gallon tank near Summerlin's Crossroad late Friday or early Saturday. More than 450,000 gallons of water was lost.

Another tank, on D.S. Williamson Road, near Kenansville, was shot late Sunday or early Monday, authorities said. That tank, which holds 100,000 gallons, lost three-quarters of its contents.

Capt. Stanley Jones of the Duplin County Sheriff's Office said today investigators are asking for the public's help in finding out who the vandal or vandals are.

"We're looking for any information we can get about either shooting," Jones said. "Anyone with any information that might help, we're asking to call us."

Jones said the Sheriff's Office is offering a reward for information that would help the investigation. The Sheriff's Office telephone number is 910-296-2150.

Jones said officers have not been able to determine what caliber of rifle was used in the shootings.

Duplin Water Supervisor Stanley Miller said the bulletholes caused the tanks initially to lose 30 gallons of water per minute, until officials were able to lower the water system's pressure.

Duplin County officials said an estimate of the cost of the damage won't be available until a contractor determines how best to make repairs. A contractor was expected to be examining the tanks today.

No customer was out of water because of the vandalism because of backup connections.

Assistant County Manager Judy Brown said the contractor will determine whether the tanks can be repaired from the outside, or if welders will have to work from the inside.

After repairs are made, the tanks will have to be disinfected and the water tested before they can be hooked back into the county's water system, Miller said.