Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water is draining from a water tower in Maiden because of recently discovered bullet holes.

The tower holds 750,000 gallons of water for Maiden, which is just south of Hickory. Officials must wait for most of the water to drain because repairs must be done inside the holding tank.

Catawba County Sheriff's deputy Major Coy Reid said the tower appears to have been shot three times with a high-powered rifle. He said authorities believe the shooting took place early Monday morning.

Nearby residents heard gun shots but no one called authorities, so the damage wasn't discovered until hours later.

Fixing the damage will likely cost between $15,000 and $20,000.