EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSWATER MAIN BREAK
from Eyewitness News Online
Neighbors Upset Over Time Took To Control Large Water Line Break
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Jun. 4, 2012 11:12 AM EDT
Updated: Jun. 4, 2012 11:15 PM EDT
St. Albans , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A massive water main break in Saint Albans made for quite a scene Monday morning and left behind a muddy mess.
Some of those affected by the break are upset over how long it took to the water company to fix the problem.
"It gives new meaning to bad Monday's," says Staci Keffer.
A messy, and wet Monday morning wake up call for people living on Riverview Drive.
"It was crazy. I mean it was shooting a good 50 feet in the air, going straight across the street into this tree, hitting the front of those people's house over there. It was everywhere. Never have I seen water like that before," says Keffer.
Keffer's sister lives in the home that took the brunt of the water damage, flooding her basement and yard. Keffer says a neighbor first reported the break around 4:30 a.m. Monday, but it wasn't until 10:45 a.m. that West Virginia American Water got out to turn the water off.
Water company officials say they didn't get word about it at their local headquarters until 7:30 a.m.
"The process is, it's not just a matter of one turn of the valve like you can in your house," explains Laura Jordan, West Virginia American Water External Affairs Manager.
Jordan says the broken pipe was an 8-inch cast iron water main. The company says it takes time locating the proper valves and shutting them down.
"As you can see turning this square multiple times, sometimes it's 50, sometimes it's a couple dozen, sometimes it a hundred times depending on the size of the valve to actually get that shut down," Jordan explains while pointing to what the valve looks like.
But for those who were left to deal with the mess, they say it simply took too long and caused too much damage in the process.
"There's no sense in it. There's no sense in property damage. I mean what's she going to do now? She's lost all kinds of stuff. Pretty much it's all a loss now," says Keffer.
The water company says it does pay for any damage caused by broken lines.
Water has since been restored to about 30 customers in the Arborland Acres area.
A water main has broke in Arborland Acres in St. Albans sending water shooting into the air.
It's been gushing since about 4:30 Monday morning.
The street is still open, but the drains are starting to back up causing water to flood the street and start to flow toward the homes.
A crew from West Virginia American Water is working to get the water shut off.
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