Still, the city was supposed to come up with a contingency plan for the offline reservoir.
"Well, that's great," Amtower said, "but how are you going to pay for it?"
To come up with a fix once the water did get dangerously low took a couple days from the time the city notified the PSC on Sept. 12 that it would be rationing water until Tuesday, when Amtower said utility customers could use water freely again.
At first, city officials struggled to find a solution. Then they struggled to find materials. Then they struggled to find money.
Eventually, they decided they would stick a pipe in another part of the New Creek, from which they draw water.
This second intake would be at the end of the creek where it flows into the north branch of the Potomac River. The goal was to get water from the river without going into the river, which is mostly if not entirely controlled by Maryland.
As Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, put it, officials were "hoping the Potomac will flow backwards if we suck enough water out of the (creek)."
Howell said Maryland officials said they could fast-track a permit for Keyser to draw water from the Potomac if need be.
Howell said local officials contacted Tomblin's office by the middle of the last week but didn't hear back until the end of the week.
Then the Governor's Office, Mineral County and Keyser officials came up with a plan to eventually provide Keyser officials with $50,000 for the project. The county would quickly provide Keyser with money that the state would later repay.
In any event, city crews, councilmen and the mayor began their work in earnest about 6 a.m. Saturday, Amtower said. They got into the middle of New Creek and began laying a mile of pipe up the middle of the creek, from the Potomac toward the water treatment plant.
They finished laying the pipe at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Amtower said. Using a pump provided by a Chesapeake Energy contractor, they worked through the morning and got water flowing by 1 p.m. Sunday.
That effort - combined with additional dredging of a spot near a treatment plant intake and the rains - ended the emergency measures about 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The pipe up the middle of the river is a temporary fix until Dam Site 14 is back online.
"It's pretty evident now that problems can develop in a short amount of time," Amtower said.