Major water main breaks in Phenix City

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By Blenda Copeland

A major water main broke Thursday affecting a large swath of central Phenix City customers two days after snow and ice came to the region.

Early morning temperatures Thursday rose sluggishly from the 20s to the 40s by mid-afternoon as Phenix City utility crews worked to restore water service to those served by the water main near 30th Street and 10th Avenue.

“This will cause a disruption in service for a large area of central Phenix City,” said a city-issued media alert posted around 4 p.m. ET. “Utilities crews are onsite repairing the break, and we will have service restored as soon as possible.”

In a brief interview shortly after the media alert was sent, City Manager Wallace Hunter declined to estimate generally how long service might be disrupted. He acknowledged there had been smaller water main issues, but none that caused the disruptions expected with this major line. He also said the exact cause was unknown at that point.

In an update Monday, Assistant City Manager Steve Smith confirmed that several hundred homes were impacted by the disruption in service.

“The line in question was a 12-inch main transmission line that supplied much of the area east of Summerville Road around 4th and 5th streets from 30th south to the railroad,” he said via email.

“The repair work was completed about 2 a.m. (ET) Friday morning (Jan. 19).  The exact cause of the break is not known but the line is a more than 50-year-old cast iron line and a section of it failed and cracked open.

“The crews cut out the failed section and inserted a new section of pipe.”

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s State of the City Address, which was scheduled for Jan.18, was cancelled out of public safety concern with roads still icy in spots and expected to re-freeze by 6 p.m. that evening.

The Jan. 17 city council meeting also was cancelled due to the inclement weather that forced most of the Chattahoochee Valley to shut down for safety.

The City of Phenix City also re-scheduled the appearance of students who are receiving assistance toward paying their dual enrollment costs at local colleges. They will be recognized at the Feb. 6 city council meeting at 9 a.m. ET in the city council chamber.