FRANKFORT, KY — During his Team Kentucky Update on Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on what his administration is doing to help Marion, Kentucky, address its ongoing water shortage. 

Beshear visited Marion on Wednesday, meeting with Mayor Jared Byford, City Manager Adam Ledford and other local leaders and visiting Lake George and City Lake. Lake George was Marion's main source of water, and the city's water crisis began when it was forced to drain the lake because of a levee breach

“We are continuing to ask folks in the city to conserve water, because that will have the largest impact on prolonging the current water supply,” Beshear said during the public briefing Thursday. “I want families in Marion to know that the state is behind you, and we will stay with you until this crisis is solved.”

Beshear on June 18 declared a state of emergency in Marion to help expedite resources to help the city combat the water crisis.  

The Kentucky National Guard on Thursday began distributing bottled water to Marion residents to be used for drinking and cooking. The city released a schedule earlier this week designating days when residents can pick up water at the old National Guard Armory. That schedule is based on residents' last names. 

Marion water pickup schedule: 

  • People with last names beginning with A through G will be able to pick up water from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 23. 
  • Those with last names beginning with H though L will be able to pick up water during the same time frame on Friday, June 24. 
  • People with last names beginning with M through R will be able to pick up water during those hours on Monday, June 27. 
  • Residents with last names beginning with S through Z will be able to pick up water during those hours on Tuesday, June 28. 

The city says people who need to make special arrangements to get their water due to health or transportation issues should call City Hall at 270-965-2266. 

The Kentucky National Guard says it is providing equipment and operators to support movement and distribution of water in Marion. In a news release, the Guard says soldiers with the Maneuver Enhancement Brigade will start transporting water by Friday from the Cumberland River to City Lake, the city's secondary water source. Army vehicles will take non-potable water storage tanks daily to provide City Lake with 80,000 gallons of water to the reservoir. Those efforts are being made to minimize concerns regarding decreasing lake levels related to evaporation. 

Local 6's Holly Brantley was in Marion Thursday as the first round of residents lined up to pick up cases of water. Watch Local 6 at 5 and Local 6 at 6 for more details.