Water main break in south Tulsa

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Updated: 5/16/2013 1:11 am Published: 5/15/2013 3:50 pm

Tulsa water crews are working into the night replacing a busted water main at 51st and Memorial.

The water started spewing from the southwest corner around 3 p.m. Crews say construction workers were demolishing the former Shell station and hit the pipe.

Crews expect it will take six to eight hours to replace and get water back on.

Turning the water off forced two businesses to close.

"It's a total mess," said Jerri Johnson.

FOX23 News saw low-rider trucks and strollers pushing through the rushing waters.

"We didn't know there was any water here, we just wanted to go for a walk," said Mike Danks.

Tulsa water crews say they worked fast to turn off the water.

"It's a lot of water and it can do a lot of damage real quick," said City Water Supervisor Mike Strouse.

He says the main concern was to shut off water to avoid accidents.

“I almost had a wreck, almost hit me because they couldn't drive through the water," said Johnson.

However, shutting off the water to fix the broken pipe forced Sezchuan Express to shut down for the night.

"I can't even pull in there through the drive-through because there is so much chaos," said Johnson.

One car after another couldn't get quick dinner through the drive-through.

"That is really going to deter business. I really hate that for them," said Johnson.

FOX23 spoke with health inspectors on the scene.

"We have to shut down restaurants that don't have water," said Tulsa Health Department Field Supervisor Frank Strozier.

He says Food Pyramid has a limited supply of water but enough to wash hands and dishes to stay open. However, if the store would have lost water, the bakery, meat department and prepared meals in the kitchen would need to shut down.

"If you can't wash your hands, you can't operate," said Strozier. "We have to have water to operate."

FOX23 News also checked with other businesses in the Fontana Shopping Center that say they did not lose water and are open.

"They will get it fixed! I have confidence in Tulsa," said a driver.

The Flower Shop also closed a few minutes early. The sign on the door at Szechuan Express says it hopes to reopen tomorrow.

Crews plan to have the pipe fixed and water back on by 1:00 a.m.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

WyoMoe - 5/16/2013 7:17 AM
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This is what happens with the "Lowest Bidder" and very poor planning on the demolition crews part.How much did this cost the city?
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