Water main break again closes busy Independence road - KCTV5 News

Water main break again closes busy Independence road

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A busy street in east Independence is closed again because of a water main break.

All lanes of 23rd Street are closed between R.D. Mize Road and Highway 291. The road may not reopen until tonight at the earliest.

Four homes and businesses, including a church, are without water after the 12-inch main broke about 6 a.m. Tuesday

This is the second time that the water main has broken since November.

Stephen Porter, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said the water main broke in the exact same place again Tuesday as occurred in November.

Dan Montgomery, director of water system services for the city of Independence, said the break is just east of the previous break. He said he believes the previous repairs were satisfactory, but said it's too soon to know exactly what caused the latest break on the more than 50-year-old line.

"It's a typical water main break," he said.

But he did say it is an unusual break in one significant sense.

"Because we have 750 miles of main, the odds having one within 100 feet of another one is pretty unusual," he said. "So, yes, this would be an anomaly."

The waters from the break rushed into a creek that flows underneath Highway 291 just south of Hidden Valley Road. The brown floodwaters churned toward the Little Blue River.

A stench of sewage came from the overflowing creek, but Montgomery said he was unaware of any issues from the water to wildlife, fish or humans.

The force of the water was so intense it pushed a Dumpster 75 feet across the parking lot. Water rushed through doors, leaving businesses flooded. Some for the second time.

Some businesses saw water damage in November. Montgomery said it is possible that some businesses will see water damage again Tuesday. Other homes and businesses likely are seeing low water pressure.

The repairs to the water main were completed Tuesday.

The repairs to the road will be done under MODOT's supervision and at their standards. Repairs to the road will begin Wednesday morning, and the hope is to have the road reopened by the end of the day.

La Fuente Mexican restaurant on Highway 291 was one of the businesses damaged by both breaks. Instead of cooking and serving up entrees and margaritas, employees spent Tuesday mopping up water and making other repairs.

"We're still trying to decide what to do - whether to put carpet in again or just tile the floor," said restaurant owner Antonio Romanis.

Businesses impacted by the previous break filed claims with the city, but they were denied. The city claimed the November break was not the government's responsibility.

Among those whose claims were rejected included La Fuente.

"We're just frustrated, but we'll live with it," Romanis said. "We have to clean up. It's frustrating, but what else can we do?"

A physical therapy business adjacent to the Mexican restaurant saw $30,000 damage in November. The city refused to cover the repairs.

City officials said it's too soon to know whether they will cover the costs that businesses and homeowners have incurred because of Tuesday's break.

To read previous coverage about the November break, click here.

Copyright 2012 KCTV. (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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Sidebar: Water main break forces road, business closures


A section of U.S. 291 was closed and some businesses didn't have water because of a busted main in Independence last November. The force of the water buckled the pavement near 23rd Street east of Hwy More>>

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