Crews Work to Restore Water After Main Break

Leah Uko

OMAHA (KPTM) - A water main breaks. Then a valve across the street breaks. Both left MUD customers near 87th and Center streets without water for part of Sunday.

A crew dug more than 18 inches into the ground to fix a leak south of Center Road because of a break that happened north of Center Road.

People and businesses on both sides of 87th Street were inconvenienced from this not-so-uncommon situation.

MUD's spokeswoman Tracey Christensen said weather plays a part.

"From warm to cold or cold to warm. You can see the soil shifting and sometimes that will cause the line to break," Christensen said.

From 12:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Metropolitan Utilities District crews repaired a water main break. They were able to restore all lost water, but in the process a valve broke. This left every business in Canfield's Plaza dry.

"I'm telling the staff 'don't drink soda, don't drink coffee and just be careful," owner Rick Canfield said. "If you have to use the restroom we're sending them to a convenient food mart."

The crew worked fast to prevent water from the leak from turning into ice on the road. Especially near 87th and Center where there is heavy traffic.

For some people traffic was not an issue, but food was.

Arby's immediately shut down when its water did.

"I've been out of town for five days and I was hungry for Arby's and they're not open," a customer said.

"Things like that happen. You just go find another Arby's to eat at!" Jody Wilkinson said.

Fortunately, for the digging, no one spent the entire Sunday without a daily necessity.

The Douglas County Health Department said all food businesses must shut down when a water main break occurs--no exceptions.

Top of the World Buffet was open for business during the time when water was shut down. Employees did not provide a reason why.

Christensen said about 60 customers were affected by the water main break. All water should have been restored by 5 p.m. Sunday.

She wanted to stress that this water main break was not similar to the one last week in Council Bluffs. The water she said is, and was always, safe to drink in this case.