Update: Water main break causes boil advisory and school closings - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Update: Water main break causes boil advisory and school closings

Reporter: Marianne Lyles
New Media Producer: Nick Storm 

Update, Fri 4:30 pm: Crews have finished repairing the water main break in Henderson. It took several tries but regular water flow should be back to normal by Friday night even though the boil advisory remains in effect. The old pipe serves many in Henderson, so could another break happen?  

Part of the highly traveled Green Street in Henderson was closed off Friday as crews worked to fix a water main break, and it's not a simple task to repair the 20 inch cast iron pipe which has been around for nearly 80 years.

Bruce Shipley, General Manager of the Henderson Water Utility, says, "Because of the size of the pipe it's an unusual size and there's not a lot of fittings around for that."

Henderson had back-up parts because utility crews were aware of the problem long before the pipe ruptured. In fact they have an idea of why the main burst.

Shipley, says, "Because of it's location here on Green Street it has a lot of truck traffic, a lot of vibration and just the combination of the age and the vibration it just led to the failure of the pipe."

The older pipe goes all the way from Vine and Green Streets to Methodist hospital.

Shipley, says, "If it happened here can it potentially happen somewhere along Green Street or along Elm, yes it can."

It's something the city will look into once they clean up the mess. Crews have learned there's no quick fix because their first attempt didn't work.

Shipley, says, "When we finally got it put together and turned the valve on a brand new fitting we put on last night failed."

Northbound traffic has been restored to South Green Street, but it will be restricted to one lane at the Vine intersection through the weekend. Both southbound lanes remain open. The boil advisory could be lifted by Sunday morning.

Officials with Gibs Die Casting Mag Plant in Henderson say it will start operation first shift Saturday. All other plants are not operating.

Previously: Thursday's large water main break has been repaired, but the headaches in Henderson continue for residents as they look at a weekend of boiling water.

Mary Fuqua, Wellspring Academy Teacher, says, "I wondered if whether or not we would be open because of the water situation."

Wellspring Academy was open for school Friday, and teachers had few problems because water pressure was fine, and they easily adapted to the situation.

Fuqua, says, "We've had to add extra bleach to our water solution to our dirty dishes and things."

The Methodist Hospital was in the same situation, where water is essential to its daily operations.

Ashley Sides, the hospital marketing manager, says, "That's why we contact outside distributors so we have bottled water, distilled water so that everything we maintain the infection control standards that we keep at the hospital."

More than 5,000 bottles of 20-ounce water and hundreds of gallon jugs were delivered for surgeries and consumption.

Methodist Hospital says it's following its disaster plan and is ready for a weekend without clean Henderson water.

Ashley, says, "Adjacent counties and other cities over there we've contacted to get our resources and they're supplying us with the water that we need."

Update, Fri 7:45 am: Southbound traffic is reopen on South Green Street in Henderson.

Officials say motorists should continue to use caution in the area near Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Dixon Street where Henderson Water Utility Personnel are still working to repair the ruptured water main.

Northbound traffic on Green Street will have to continue to detour using Sand Lane and South Main Street.

Trucks should continue to avoid the area by detouring around the site using Second Street, U.S. 41, and the KY 425 Henderson Bypass.


Reporter: Liza Danver
New Media Producer: Amanda Lents

An 80-year-old water main in Henderson breaks, putts the entire city under a boil order and causes all schools in Henderson County to be closed Friday.

The break happened just before 1 pm Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Vine and Green Streets. Green Street from Martin Luther King to Sand Lane remains closed Thursday night while water crews work to make repairs.

Henderson water crews say it'll take at least 48 hours to repair the water main break. Crews worked for hours to pump water out from a hole caused by a water main break.

Business Owner Joretta Henew says, "There was water shooting up about this high. It was as muddy as it could be."

Like many businesses in the area, Henew had to close her car repair shop. Her business didn't have any water because it was flowing down the street, "It just kept pouring and pouring and vehicles wouldn't come through because it was so deep."

Several Henderson schools had to send students home early because of little to no water pressure.

City officials say 80 percent of Henderson residents. like John Shorts, are being affected by the water main break, "I woke up and I didn't have any water. I woke up after a nap. I went to go wash my face and there was no water."

For folks who have water a boil advisory is in effect for all of Henderson city. Crews hope to repair the break by the end of the weekend.

Once again all Henderson County schools will be closed Friday.

New Media Producer: Nick Storm

Previously: Kentucky Transportation Cabinet personnel working with Henderson city officials at the site of the water main break on South Green Street believe they may be able to open one lane to southbound passenger vehicle traffic through the area by daylight Friday morning.  

KTC says that estimate is dependent upon repairs to the leaking water line advancing as expected. An initial check of the roadway at the site indicates damage to the subsurface is not as extensive as first expected, allowing road repairs to move fairly quickly after the water line is patched.

There is optimism that two lanes of traffic could be open at the site as early as about noon Friday.

Motorists are asked to avoid the area. Truck traffic should bypass the area via Second Street, US 41, and The KY 425 Henderson Bypass. Officials say it may take up to 36 hours to repair the 20 inch water main.

Passenger vehicle traffic may continue to detour along South Main Street between Washington Street and Sand Lane.  However, they ask that motorists try to avoid the area altogether if at all possible. About 27,000 vehicles use this section of Green Street in an average day.  

Henderson Water Utility has issued a boil water advisory for The entire Henderson City limits.

Residents in this area are advised to boil their water rapidly for three minutes before using it for cooking or drinking.  According to Henderson Water Utility it is safe for all other purposes.

Update, Thurs 3:30 pm: Gibbs Die Casting in Henderson is canceling their 2nd and 3rd shifts this afternoon and evening due to the water main break. 

Their Audubon Tool and Comack Divisions are on a regular schedule.

Update, Thurs 3:00 pm: The closure on US 41-A/US 60/Green Street in Henderson due to a water main break has been expanded. 

Green Street is reported closed due to a rupture in a 20 inch water main between KY 136/Sand Lane and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.   

This is from U.S. 41-A mile point 14.483 to mile point 15.298 in Henderson. This section of Green Street may have to remain closed for an extended time. 

Utility crews at the site believe the leak may have undermined the roadway requiring extensive sub-surface repairs before the street can be reopened. Motorists are asked to avoid the area. 

At this time here is no estimate on how long repairs to the water main or the roadway might take.

New Media Producer: Amanda Lents

Update, Thurs 2:08 pm: According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, US 41A/US 60/Green Street have been closed in Henderson due to a water main break. 

Green Street is closed due to a rupture in a 20 inch water main between Hancock Street and Dixon Street. Drivers should seek an alternate route. There is no estimate on how long repairs might take.

Update, Thurs 1:55 pm: Three Henderson school are being dismissed early due to a water main break.

South Heights Elementary, Jefferson Elementary and South Middle School students will be let out  of school at 2 pm Thursday due to a water main break on South Green Street.

Previously: Henderson dispatchers tell 14 News that there is a water main break on South Green Street.

The break happened a little around 12:30 pm in front of Jefferson school. Emergency crews are on the scene and police are directing traffic away from the area.

We have a crew in route and will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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