It took several hours this morning to find a water main break near the Bowl-A-Rama and Delta Plaza Mall in Escanaba.
Escanaba Water Wastewater Superintendent Jeff Lampi says it caused flooding in a wide area of Escanaba including North Lincoln Road.
Escanaba City Manager Patrick Jordan said the break was found on 1st Avenue North and contained.
“Jeff, our superintendent, is going to get the guys inside to warm up and get some dry clothes on and then commence to digging up the break and getting it fixed,” said Jordan.
Escanaba Public Safety said flooding was reported at 5:30 a.m.
Extreme frigid weather slowed the process of finding the break. Soaked crews battled temperatures of minus-17 this morning and wind chills of minus-40.
Jordan said warming stations were used to keep workers safe.
There was concern this morning about maintaining pressure within the city’s water system. The water main break was quickly depleting water stored in the tower at the Bonifas Civic Center.
Jordan said the request to limit water usage was lifted in the afternoon.
“We need to get the tower at the civic center refilled with water, maybe it’s full now or almost full. We’ll do a lot of flushing of the system. I don’t know if it will be citywide or not but there has been no negative pressure and no boil advisory issued which is good,” he said.
Road crews were also using snow to control flooding. Jordan said one of the graders ended up in a sink hole on 1st Avenue North caused by the break.
“Our grater was just trying to move the water and fell into the hole, a sinkhole out in the middle of the road. So. the grader went in, a loader had to come along and pull it out and so at least we know where the hole is and if they can get the water out of there they can start working on it,” Jordan said.
Several businesses in the area will experience water shutoffs today for the duration. The area was also closed from 1st Avenue South to 3rd Avenue North. It has since been reopened.