Water department busy dealing with water main breaks

- It has been a busy couple of days for crews with the Atlanta Watershed Management Agency dealing with dozens of water pipe breaks which have left a couple thousand people without water since the cold weather hit.

Early Friday morning, Watershed workers were dealing with a busted pipe on Kendrick Avenue in Grant Park. Crews on the scene had no idea how many homes were without water.

Late Thursday night, repair crews were at North Pelham Rd NE in the Morningside neighborhood where a water main break affected about 30 homes.

The Watershed Management Agency also said a water line at 8th and Cypress was among the many water main breaks plaguing the city of Atlanta throughout the day.

The frigid temperatures kept crews busy responding to from repair job to repair job.

RELATED: How to prevent pipes from bursting this winter

On Longleaf Drive in Buckhead crews put the finishing touches on the main water break from overnight that sent a torrent running down the street.

“I could see it from my balcony. It was gushing, water was just gushing and they dug a huge hole and did everything they could,” said Joel Freedman who lives in the area.

The break and resulting repairs to the 16-inch water main led to a partial shutdown of area roads.

Parts of nearby Phipps Plaza was without water and about two thousand residents primarily living in neighborhood high rise condos were without water until the break was repaired in the afternoon.

“We were able to survive. We just couldn't run the dishwasher or laundry but the big problem is not being able to flush the toilet,” said Freedman.

The Watershed Department Agency said the Longleaf break was caused by a caused by the failure of this hydrant for a new development.

At another hydrant in the Ardmore Park Neighborhood residents told us the water was flowing freely from the main break here which fascinated young Wyatt Dixon.

“We thought they were backing up to leave and it turns out they were actually just getting a boost to put that somewhere,” said Wyatt Dixon.

The Watershed Department Agency said the break affected about thirty homes in the neighborhood.

“We’ve been here about seven years and that’s the first time it’s happened. Hopefully, it won’t happen again soon? Agreed yeah,” said Quill Healey.

More than 3 dozen water line breaks have been posted on the Atlanta Watershed Department's Twitter account. The agency said those breaks have affected hundreds of people in homes and businesses. 

Early Friday morning, Watershed Commissioner Kishia Powell told FOX 5 the department has responded to so many breaks that crews are having to prioritize which ones to fix first. She blames the city's infrastructure, saying many of the 2,500 miles of water mains are long overdue for replacement. 

Atlanta is working on putting in new pipes, but it only has so much money to get the job done. The commissioner understands residents' frustrations, and vows to repair any broken water mains as quickly as possible. 

You can monitor the department's progress by following them on Twitter.  If a water main breaks in your area, you can report it by calling 3-1-1.

RELATED: Freezing temps causing water main breaks

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