Thursday, November 3, 2005
|Hit, run on
plug creates havoc
By SUE WATSON
Normal traffic flow on the main south entrance to the city, Craft Street, was disrupted for 24 hours beginning at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. A car hit a fire plug, snapping the line below the plug.
That put water, gas and sewer crews in a flurry looking for water valves that fed the plug and police crews busy diverting traffic to side streets.
Mayor Andre DeBerry, who expressed pride in the way city employees handled the job of managing the situation and trouble shooting, said inconvenience to traffic was the worst part of the deal. It cost the city some overtime pay and an outlay for a contractor with equipment to come in and install a shutoff valve.
The valve, installed by G&C Supply out of Atwood, Tenn., did not stop the water leak and crews struggled to pump water out of the hole around the plug to find the broken line. That was located about noon Thursday and another valve was found and turned off to slow the water flow allowing workers to get at the problem.
It took a second cutoff valve and fittings but the fire plug itself was not damaged and was reinstalled about 3 p.m. Thursday and cleanup began.
Superintendent Bennie Woods said water supply to customers remained intact because he received no calls.
Police directed traffic around the intersection of Craft and Elder continuously, allowing only truckers through.
DeBerry said one problem the city has to deal with from time to time in situations like this is that the citys maps are incomplete because of the age of the system, particularly with regard to buried infrastructure laid years ago.
The citys old mapping system needs to be upgraded to identify all cutoffs of water and gas so our people in the field can find them, he said.
A lot of the water, gas and sewer dates back to the 1930s or 1940s, he said.
I just want to commend the water department people for the efficient job and performing beyond (the call of duty) in cold weather, he said. These guys are well trained and did a good job.
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