Water main break knocks out power to a portion of downtown Tulsa

Monday, December 5th 2005, 2:48 pm
By: News On 6

Here is the latest on a water main break that cut off power to parts downtown Tulsa.

Water flooded about five square blocks Monday afternoon, mainly to the north of 5th Street, and to the west of Cincinnati.

6 in the Morning reporter Omar Villafranca says there are still several downtown office buildings without power, including the BOk tower. Crews worked overnight to get power restored.

When that 24-inch water main broke, a small river of water poured straight into an underground electrical vault, knocking out the power. That turned 2nd Street into a river. So much water came pouring out, that parts of the street buckled.

Hundreds of downtown workers were also forced out of their dry buildings. Employees from the Tulsa World, the Crown Plaza hotel, the Williams Companies and the Bank of Oklahoma tower were affected.

Tulsa Fire Captain Hubert Rouse: "We've got a large amount of water that has gone into the basement of the BOk building, as a matter of fact, I was told earlier that we had approximately 3 foot of water and it was rising at that time."

City of Tulsa public works crews say the cold weather caused the soil to shift, breaking the water main.

The News on 6 talked with PSO and most of the power has been restored, the only exception is the BOk building. It has the most damage and the tower will stay closed all day.

BOk employees, who work in the tower, are asked to call 619-0250 to get a status report.

Tulsa's 911 emergency operations center is also downtown, but it wasn’t directly affected by the water main break and power outage. Their radio transmitter briefly shutdown when the power went out, but the system automatically switched to the backup site on 61st Street.

911 service was not interrupted.