Water main breaks cause flooding, ice problems

A water main break caused all sorts of problems at the intersection of West State Blvd. and St. Mary's on the morning of January, 28, 2014.
A water main break caused all sorts of problems at the intersection of West State Blvd. and St. Mary's on the morning of January, 28, 2014.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – City crews are working on more than ten water main breaks across the city. Officials blame the age of the pipes and quick freezing and thawing over the last few weeks.

A water main break near the corner of West State Boulevard and Saint Mary’s Avenue flooded the street and created very slick condition throughout the day.

A FWPD officer noticed the break shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Water was coming out of the ground right next to the PNC Bank in two different areas. The water was flowing down a sidewalk and then onto Saint Mary’s Ave. The water was pooling at the intersection with State Blvd. then flowing in both directions down State. Water several inches deep is ponding at near the intersection but also flowing down the eastbound lane of State towards Sherman Boulevard.

Firefighters said they think the break is outside the building and not affecting the inside of the bank.

City water and street crews were called to the scene to assess the break and place barricades around the water. A portion of State and St. Mary’s was blocked off.

By 3 a.m., water was already beginning to ice up. Large chunks of ice were forming all over both streets and will likely freeze solid with temperatures below zero.

It’s unknown when the break will be fixed. Frank Suarez, Spokesperson for Public Works and City Utilities said each problem varies.

Another break near the intersection of Fairfax and Fairfield  was also reported. Viewer Nichole Garvin sent in this picture of her car frozen in a few inches of ice because of a nearby main break:

Nichole Garvin sent WANE this picture of her car stuck in ice in after a water main break.

Nichole Garvin sent WANE this picture of her car stuck in ice in after a water main break.

According to Suarez, the city has made a commitment to replace more pipes every year. It’s been replacing nine miles of piping every year, which is its goal. Officials hope to continue to increase that number.

“When you have 1,175 miles of pipes and some of them nearly 100 years old, you have to replace that, but for decades, they hadn’t been replaced and we’re trying to increase the amount of money that’s invested in replacements to help avoid some of these issues in the future,” said Suarez.

The city received about 50 calls Monday night from residents with out water. Officials encourage you to run a trickle of water through your faucet to protect pipes.

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