• Massive uptown water main break fixed; roads reopen


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Clean-up continued Friday morning, hours after a massive water main break flooded uptown Charlotte along 9th Street at North Tryon Street.

    The road reopened early Friday evening.

    [IMAGES: Water main break floods uptown Charlotte]

    The huge water main rupture caused the surface of a street to buckle Thursday afternoon, resulting in a river of water flowing through uptown and leaving many residents and businesses without water.

    A supervisor told Channel 9 that crews finished repairs on the water main just before midnight and that businesses had water restored before dawn.

    Charlotte Water officials said the pipe broke around 10 a.m. on Thursday, causing some residents and businesses to lose water.

    Water poured out of manhole covers in the area of East 8th and North Caldwell streets. 9th Street near North Tryon Street buckled, and employees at the Odell building were evacuated.

    Four units in the First Ward Place apartment complex also flooded.

    Makayla Wilson, who is a mother of three and has lived at the apartment complex for three years, said she had to stay somewhere else. The water appeared clear, but officials told her it was mixed with sewage.

    "I know one of the ladies was saying that when she went to use the bathroom, the water just shot up,” Wilson said. “She has water in all of her bathrooms and a tub. I'm gonna go somewhere else. Why would we bring our small kids back into an apartment that's contaminated?"

    Charlotte Water officials revealed that two separate 54-inch valve repairs on Morehead Street and Rozzelles Ferry Road were partially to blame. The flow and pressure varied in the pipes of Center City.

    Lexy Buchanan, who works at Waterbean Coffee, spent a boring Thursday afternoon at work, with plenty of coffee beans, but no water. She said her boss was not happy.

    "It's been pretty slow and I've just been cleaning,” she said. "He's losing some business today, so he not happy about it."

    Officials said when pipes are turned off for repair and turned back on to serve customers, leaks may appear elsewhere due to temporary pressure or flow changes.

    Douglas Barbour spent most of Thursday afternoon watching in disbelief as workers tried to find out what happened and turn off the water.

    “Water was running all down the street like a swimming pool,” Barbour said. “Never seen nothing like this."

    Pictures from Chopper 9 Skyzoom showed some street flooding at multiple intersections.

    The sight of 9th Street buckling sent panic through many uptown workers. Some chose to move their cars out of the neighboring parking lot.

    Most of those who were without water were close to 9th and North Tryon streets, which is where most of the work to repair the line is taking place.

    Several businesses closed early Thursday.

    "You don't realize what you take for granted until you need water and right now most of my friends and fellow residents, we are without water,” said Steve McCullough.

    Officials also said those who lost water service temporarily may experience cloudy or discolored water when service returns, but flushing the cold water tap for 10-15 minutes should clear up any discoloration.

    While water has been turned back on, 9th Street will remain closed Friday as crews finish patching the hole. 

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