Crews still working to fix water woes in Saranac Lake
SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. -
As crews try to fix a massive water main break outside, Chris Harrington surveys a massive mess in the basement of his Saranac Lake business.
"It came right through the foundation in the bottom," Harrington said.
Friday afternoon, a water main on Broadway ruptured, sending 4 feet of water into Harrington's business, damaging equipment and personal belongings.
"Everything floated that way; it was like a river through here," Harrington said.
It took crews until Sunday to fix the break due to the depth of the pipe and because it was buried under wires and other infrastructure. But when they thought their job was done, crews determined there was another break in the water line somewhere, but they have not been able to locate it.
"My assumption is they probably happened at the same time, which one happened first we don't know," said John Sweeney, the village manager for Saranac Lake.
The village redirected the water lines so service can continue to 10 businesses and a number of apartments in the area. But a two-block section of Broadway through the downtown has been closed to vehicle traffic since Friday.
"It's been pretty slow," Harrington said.
Village officials aren't sure what caused the water main to break, but say Mother Nature may be to blame.
"Real cold, real warm, real cold, real warm drives the frost into the ground. The weather changes just cause things to break underground, is it just frost moving it, is it frost driving rocks into it," Sweeney said.
Officials are also working to determine if a recent $12 million sewer upgrade throughout the village could be the culprit.
"It changed the direction of flow, that was the intention and design of the project," Sweeney said. "We did anticipate some breaks by redirecting the water flow."
"It sounds like they are going to come through that wall," Harrington said.
As Harrington listens to the drilling outside while cleaning his basement, he and other business owners hope the water starts flowing smoothly again inside the pipes, so traffic and business can once again flow through the downtown.
Reporter Matt Henson: Do you hope they fix the water main soon?
Chris Harrington: Yeah, and I hope they turn on the water, too.
People who have apartments and businesses on that section of Broadway must boil their water until further notice.
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