[Nameplate] Fair ~ 49°F  
High: 77°F ~ Low: 61°F
Friday, May 6, 2016

Water, water everywhere

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is the way the south side of Chestnut Street in Thayer looked after three water main breaks this past weekend. The parking places in front of H&R Block and The South Missourian News were covered with mud and gravel, in some places 2- to 3 inches deep. Photo by Jan Thompson
THAYER -- There was water, there was more water, and then there was more water.

Three water mains suppling water to downtown Thayer broke over the weekend.

According to Thayer city officials, all three water main breaks occurred on Chestnut Street. One near Chestnut and Third Street, another near the First Baptist Church Christian Activity Center and the third at Sixth and Chestnut Street near the old elementary building.

To make a bad situation even worse, when water department employees tried to shut the water off, one of the valves on the main by the elementary school broke, causing even more problems.

Thayer Alderman Mike Harber said the breaks drained most of the water out of a city well totaling approximately 60,000 to 80,000 gallons of water.

Some water department personnel think the two nights of single digit temperatures last week may have had a hand in the water breaks.

"The way it was explained to me, is when the water department employees dug down to try and find the breaks they discovered the ground had shifted because of being extremely frozen and then thawing out. The pipe had probably moved a half-inch from where it was supposed to be," Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Alford said. The pipes are approximately 4-feet underground.

The pipes were fixed with specialized patching designed for waterlines.

The only business or residence affected by the water was Thayer Decorating Center located on Chestnut Street across from the Bank of Thayer.

Junior Ellison owns the business and estimates as much as $20,000 of carpet may have been ruined by the water.

Alford said when the main broke it was not a slow trickle of water, but more of a gush. One resident said Chestnut Street was a solid sheet of ice.

"It took a ton of salt to remove the ice from the street," Harber said.

On Monday morning, the south side of Chestnut Street was covered in dirt and gravel in some places 2-to-3 inches deep.

Monday was Dr. Martin Luther King Day and Thayer City Hall was closed. Mayor Merle Williams could not be reached for comment.

The city remains under a boil water order until further notice.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: