Broken Water Pipe May Doom Business

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HAZLETON -- A broken water line in Luzerne County resulted in a big mess for one business. Empire Cleaners in Hazleton was forced to limit service to customers today.

A wet mess outside led to a muddy one inside the basement here at Empire Cleaners on East 5th Street in Hazleton, one that forced several crews to drill, dig, and clean, as the cleaners' owner Nicholas Triano hoped for good news.

"As soon as I got outside my door, I hear all this water running, and I knew I had a big problem," said Empire Cleaners owner Nicholas Triano.

Triano says the mess began at 2:30 in the morning, when flooding in his building's basement set off the alarm system.

The two-inch water line actually broke right here in the middle of East 5th Street, but the water flowed into the cleaners` basement, and that`s why it was the only building that was affected.

"The water is very vital to this building because we use water to create steam in our steam boilers and that`s how we press. We also use the steam for our dryers to dry the clothes," said Triano.

Triano and his employees spent the day turning away customers who wanted to drop off clothes. Although, customers could pick up clothes.

It was an odd day for employee Gloria Evancho who has worked at the 70-year-old business for 17 years.

She says normally, "There`s everybody working back there, and we would have stuff on this wheel, and I would be marking clothes and taking care of customers."

"This is our slowest time of the year for business, and having to turn away customers is not something that we want to do at any time," said Triano.

Crews expected to have the line repaired by the evening. If all goes well, Triano hopes to have Empire Cleaners back in business on Monday.

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