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Thousands of gallons of water given away in Hopewell after water plant shutdown

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HOPEWELL, Va. -- Thousands of gallons of water were handed out in Hopewell Wednesday after a fuel spill in the Appomattox River prompted the shutdown of the city's water treatment plant. There is a water boil order in effect for Hopewell and parts of Prince George County through Friday. Bottled water was distributed at Hopewell High School Wednesday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and again from 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. It will resume Thursday, March 5 at Hopewell High School from 9 a.m. - 3p.m. or until all the water is gone.

The Food Lion on Plaza Drive also gave out water. Audrey Sayliers, a Hopewell resident and business owner, called the water boil order a big deal. She said she stopped by Food Lion to stock up on free water because her business depends on it.

"This water problem has hurt us bad," she said. "We are an all-around cleaning company and with this water shortage we have, it has been hard to get the job done."

Plaza Drive Food Lion manager Charles Baren said his store would give away water as long as people need it.

"It is a decent size investment, but that's not important when you're talking about helping the community," he said.

In addition to Food Lion, Hopewell Police and American Water served hundreds of people who lined up for water at Hopewell High Wednesday morning.

Late Monday night, 600 gallons of diesel fuel accidentally leaked into the Appomattox River from a backup generator used by Virginia American Water.