Tulsa Crews ‘Stretched To The Max’ Repairing Broken Water Lines
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa city crews are busy repairing water main breaks triggered by the freezing temperatures.
After two breaks in two days, the City will begin replacement of a 16-inch water line Thursday near 21st and Peoria. That intersection will remain closed through the weekend.
Crews are also working to get things under control at another break near Pine and Lewis.
Eric Parker, division manager of the water district, said the city is repairing 16 different water main breaks, the most they’ve seen in a few years.
"We have them covered but we are stretched to the max," Parker said.
Around noon Wednesday, people driving down Pine had to be diverted into a neighborhood after a line burst near Lewis.
Another street just a few blocks down turned into a sheet of water and ice after a smaller line burst.
Parker said they are working as fast as they can to get the problems taken care of.
"Our operation overall is a 24/7 emergency operation, so we are prepared for this type, it’s just that when it gets this volume, it gets really hectic," he said.
With so many breaks all roughly around the same time, crews have to prioritize which lines they tackle first. That process includes determining which homes and businesses still have water, where that water is leaking and how much damage was caused.
Parker said, typically they like to let people know when and if they'll be shutting off water to do repairs, but said the way things are right now they most likely won't get to do that.
"At this time of year, we have to get the water shutdown because if it's in the street it's going to ice up and cause additional problems, so let's get it shut off in order to make the repairs and get the street sanded," he said.
Parker said they're looking forward to the more spring-like temperatures ahead and are crossing their fingers that it will give them enough of a break to catch up with demand.