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UPDATE: Water main break creates giant sinkhole

8:17 PM, Jan 26, 2013   |    comments
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Adams and Gladstone Drive SE

UPDATE (Saturday, January 26)-  The water system manager for Grand Rapids says the boil water advisory for people living near the water main break site has been lifted.

In a statement released Saturday, the city says no coliform bacteria was present in a recent water test, meaning tap water is now safe to drink.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - City crews are hoping to restore water pressure to a portion of the 85 houses affected by a water main break in a southeast side neighborhood Wednesday.

The the pipe ruptured around midnight at the intersection of Adams Street and Gladstone Drive SE. The entire intersection was flooded, then froze over.

City workers say the cold temps may have had something to do with the water main bursting. The break created a large crater, about 50 feet wide and 25 feet deep.

"Somewhere after midnight, my wife said she heard water running," said David May, whose driveway was turned into a giant sinkhole, due to the water main break. "A short while after that, the tree completely fell [into the sinkhole], then the ground caved in and water just continued to flow."

Police say at least eight homes in the area suffered flood damage, and a few are without electricity.

During the late morning hours, workers discovered the gushing water caused a natural gas line to rupture near the sinkhole. DTE was called in to repair the gas line while city crews continued to tend to the water line. The gas line was capped shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday.

"The water is pressurized, so when you're dealing with a high pressure water main, and it breaks, you can obviously see the type of hole that kind of pressure can cause," said Wayne Jernberg, Grand Rapids Assistant Water System Manager. "It could be some time, possibly two days, maybe even three before we can get this taken care of."

The city hopes some residents will have water restored Wednesday night. It will likely be longer for those living near Adams and Gladstone, depending on when the repair is completed. Once that happens, a boil water advisory will remain in effect until the water is determined safe to drink.


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