Water main break floods parts of Oak Park Mall - KCTV5

Water main break floods parts of Oak Park Mall

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Ten stores and a few kiosks were damaged Wednesday morning after a water main break at Oak Park Mall.

The break happened inside a service corridor in the Barnes and Noble, sending water gushing through the store and into the mall.

Water burst inside the corridor between Ace Sports & Tickets and Barnes and Noble, flooding the main entrance facing 95th Street.

"Barnes and Noble and American Girl all the way down to Helzberg Diamonds will be assessing their damage throughout the day," said Kasey Vena, a spokeswoman for Oak Park Mall.

Firefighters discovered the mess at 5 a.m. when a mall water alarm alerted them there might be a fire.

"They didn't have water flowing from a sprinkler, instead they had a break on the ground on the line and then water bubbling up from that," said Jason Rhodes, media manager for the Overland Park Fire Department.

It turns out the water main that feeds the fire sprinklers busted. Crews worked fast to shut it off and push out of the building.

"Their crews were able to squeegee out about 2 inches of water in about an hour. They responded quickly and reacted very well. The damage seems to be very minimal for our cleanup crews coming in," Vena said.

News of the break and resulting closures was a huge disappointment for Jennifer Pierson and her family.

"We drove three hours so it's a bummer, we're from Wichita," Pierson said.

It's Pierson's daughter's eighth birthday and she was looking forward to her first American Girl doll. Pierson and her husband took off work and even called ahead just to make sure Wednesday was perfect.

"I'm sure they didn't know there was going to be a water main break," Pierson said.

No one was in the mall at the time, but early mall walkers' routes were cut a little short.

Benny Gruber has been walking in the mall for 18 years.

"It is not wet in the part we are allowed to walk. You can still get a half a mile in here in one lap," she said.

While the mall is open, some shops remained closed, including Helzberg Diamonds and Panera Bread.

KCTV5's Laura McCallister contributed to this report.

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