Double Trouble for Wilkes-Barre Water Mains

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WILKES- BARRE-- Saturday morning, cars and trucks splashed through inches of water and rode across buckled, pebble-strewn pavement, following a water main break on East Union Street.

A short distance away Pennsylvania American Water workers were dealing with a second break near the intersection of North Washington and East North Streets.

A  spokesperson for Pennsylvania American Water says the two ruptures may be related. A shift in pressure after the first, may have triggered the second.

Approximately 20 customers lost water service, though many saw the water come back on-line by lunchtime.

Back on East Union Street, Chuck Molinari,the owner of  Complete Fitness equipment was still looking to make a sale, despite the "river" running outside. He says, "I put some boxes out by the door so people maybe might see it, and it will catch their eye, and maybe they will know I am open."

In the neighborhoods near the breaks, the most common complaints were pressure problems and sediment. The latter likely stirred up by the shifts in water flow required to make the repairs.

At the first sign of trouble, staff at the S&W restaurant came up with "plan b." Joeseph Schmid said," We ordered a bunch of gallons of water so we could cook food."

That was good news for a group of students who saw their water run brown at home, and headed out to eat.

Auxence Wogou said, "I didn't know what to do, because I didn't know what to make of it exactly."

A water company spokesperson said she expected that the repairs would be simple compared to what happened when a 36 inch water main broke in South Scranton earlier this year, leaving thousands without water.

Repairs were expected to be complete by late Saturday evening.