DEWEY, Oklahoma -- The main water line supplying the city of Dewey was repaired Thursday afternoon, city officials said.
Crews fixed the eight-inch line about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. It broke about 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning, causing an outage for the entire Washington County community and Washington County Rural Water District #1.
"We weren't expecting it. It's something that was underground and you don't see until it happens and then you have to take care of it," said Bob Jordan, Dewey Public Works Director.
The break forced Dewey Public Schools to close because there was no drinking water and no way to use the restrooms.
"I've been doing this for a very long time and only dismissed early, in 30 plus years, only three or four times," Paul Smith, Dewey Superintendent, said.
All 1,200 students and 150 employees got home safely from the public schools. A few kids got on the wrong bus, so their mom came to pick them up.
"My son and daughter rode the bus and, of course, my daughter got on the wrong one. So that was a little bit of a hysteria," said January Rider.
In all, nearly 2,500 customers lost water, many of them businesses.
"These are the most urgent ones. When you shut your whole town down, you've got to do something to get the water back on," Bob Jordan, Dewey Public Works Director, said.
Jordan said the break was caused by fatigue on a water main that's about 40 years old.