BLOWING ROCK, N.C. — The entire town of Blowing Rock had either low pressure or was without water because of a line break Monday, town officials said.
The repair was made early Monday night, but the boil water advisory remains in place until Wednesday, the town manager said. The advisory was lifted, but the town remained under voluntary water restrictions Stage 1 on Thursday.
Mayor Charlie Sellers told Channel 9 the town didn’t have water because of a break that happened around 3 a.m. Monday. It’s affecting 4,000 to 5,000 people, he said, and it took more than eight hours for crews to find the source of the break in a small creek. Sellers said even some retired town workers came back in to help find the leak.
The break was in a large line at least 8 inches in diameter. The town said they don’t have any information yet about how long repairs will take.
The pipe runs under a creek, which is likely why it went undetected for so long. The town’s water flowed out of the pipe and right into the creek.
“When you lay pipe on top of rock or rock on top of the pipe, eventually something is gonna give,” Sellers said. “And we have a lot of rock up here.”
The town’s water comes from a reservoir, Sellers said. He said in a matter of hours, the town’s water tank lost 3 million gallons, which is its entire supply.
In a post on the town’s Facebook page, officials said they are making bottled water available to residents affected by the pipe break. Along with the American Red Cross, they set up a distribution point for the bottles at the Blowing Rock American Legion Building at 333 Wallingford Street. Officials said by 10:30 a.m. Monday, they had passed out 50 cases of water.
“Be careful, conserve. Conserve with your water,” said resident Susan Vrikkis. “Glad we took a shower last night.”
“We had kids coming up from Greensboro for lunch today that we had to call and tell them not to come,” resident Bill Rogers said.
The town said summer camp is closed on Monday. Officials said they will send out updates through email at the end of the day.
The break comes in the middle of Blowing Rock’s busy summer tourism season. Several restaurants and businesses were forced to close Monday. Channel 9′s Dave Faherty saw several signs posted on restaurants letting visitors know they wouldn’t be able to open.
The Speckled Trout restaurant was one of those businesses.
“We can’t operate without water obviously,” said its owner Erica Brinker. “Not ideal to be closed down on a beautiful summer day in the mountains, but we’re working through it.”
Alice Johnson had plans to meet up with her family for lunch in town but decided to look elsewhere.
“Resort area, lots of visitors,” she said. “And when your entire water tank drains, what are you gonna do?”
At the Blowing Rock Town Hall, there was no water coming out of the sinks or water fountain.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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