Water Leak Floods Businesses

Wednesday, May 14th 2008, 2:23 pm
By: News On 6

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water poured into the intersection at 61st & Sheridan in Tulsa on Wednesday afternoon. A water main leak flooded several businesses and pooled in the streets.

The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports it took the city several hours to shut the water off and not before it washed out one Tulsa hair salon.

"It was just an instant; it was like an avalanche," said salon owner Donna Wilson.

Wilson says she was working with a customer, when water started gushing into her shop.

"I went to the back and under the door, it was like an ocean. It was coming up and around the door. It was just horrible," said Wilson.

The entire alley behind Wilson's shop was filled with rushing water. The source of the river was a water line that feeds holding tanks, just up the hill.

City crews were replacing a valve on the 48 inch line, when the back-up valve, gave way. Hundreds of thousands of gallons bubbled up, ran down the hill, rushing several businesses and pooling in the road.

Wilson was on the phone all afternoon rescheduling appointments and talking to her insurance company. She says she doesn't know what she'd do without the firefighters who were trying to stem the tide.

"The fire department came out and they started working. And they've been working ever since. Thank god for the fire department," said Wilson.

Wilson says in 29 years of running her own business, she's never had to deal with this kind of damage.

"I've never had anything like this happen. Crazy, huh? This is one of those things you have to turnover to God and he'll handle it. Cause I don't know what to do," said Wilson.

Public Works was able to get the water shut off, so Donna Wilson could get to the business of cleaning up and drying out.

They said the water was feeding the holding tanks, not draining from them, so no one lost water.