Tulsa dealing with lots of water line breaks


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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 2/10 6:44 pm Published: 2/10 4:30 pm


TULSA, Okla. - Water pipes continue to burst all over town 89 of them just in the past few days.

As of 5 p.m. Monday crews were working 22 water main breaks, including a line at 21st and Wheeling streets that has broken twice in the past few days.

The problem is some of the pipes were laid in the 1940s and they’re cast iron, so when it’s this cold for an extended period of time, they just break.

It may seem like there’s more water line breaks than normal, but city officials said this hasn’t been the worst winter for Tulsa, not even the worst in the last five years.

“It’s kind of annoying, but I know it can’t be helped,” said Shalera Davis, a manager at Petty’s Fine Foods in Utica Square.

Davis wasn’t surprised when water started bubbling up out of the parking lot Monday morning.

“I was like, ‘Oh wow, it’s like it’s happening all over town.’ It’s crazy,” she said.

And more frequently city officials said there have been more than 200 breaks in January and already more than 100 just 10 days into February.

“The winter this year has been pretty bad. I don’t think we’re used to this in Oklahoma anymore,” said Davis.

But February of 2011, the month of the big blizzard, saw 214 breaks. Then in August that same year there were more than 300.

After two breaks at 21st and Wheeling streets in one weekend it would be easy to get frustrated. But even though both have been outside the Wendy’s he manages, Larry Nichols said nobody can stop them from happening, but at least the city is handling them well.

“We’ve been very, very pleased with how fast they’re working on it,” he said.

Davis agreed and said an aging infrastructure is just the reality we have to face.

“I haven’t heard anyone complain. I think they’re doing all they can,” she said.











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