Water was restored to dozens of Kansas City homes and businesses overnight after two water main breaks happened Sunday in Midtown and South Kansas City.
Thirty-four customers lost water or water pressure after the first break on Sunday morning. The second break, which happened later in the day on Blue River Road, affected dozens more. Kansas City Water’s dispatch center was not able to keep up with customers calling in to report water loss.
“We got calls from dozens and dozens of customers,” said KC Water spokesperson Brooke Givens. “We just weren’t ready for that volume of calls on a Sunday morning so we will certainly take a look at our procedures and see if there’s a way we can be better prepared should something like that happen again.”
The break affected several local businesses and services as well. Waldo Public Library, which is about five miles from the Blue River break, closed all day Sunday. KC Bier Co., a beer hall and garden, lost water pressure in the morning and was forced to open late. Spokesperson Andrew Zender said they were forced to cancel their weekly Sunday afternoon trivia.
“That is usually a huge driver of sales and foot traffic for us and has a very loyal following that fills a lot of our tables,” he said. “We lost out on quite a bit of sales yesterday… we had about $2,000 less in business from the same day last year.”
Givens attributes the breaks to weather and the age of the pipes. The Midtown break has been repaired, but the South Kansas City break is bigger and makes a 45-degree turn. Givens says that repair will take several weeks to complete, but that customers in the area will not lose water during the process.
Sonia Schlesinger is an intern at KCUR 89.3. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.