Tuesday, 16 January 2018 17:25

IN DEEP: Water main break causes headache for Bangor residents, businesses Featured

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BANGOR - A water main break caused a big headache for residents and businesses in downtown Bangor Tuesday.

One business owner came in to find 8 feet of water in his basement.

Water, and lots of it, flowed through the streets and basements of Downtown Bangor Tuesday morning.

"We're down here trying to figure out what's going on," said Patrick Smith, an inspector with Bangor Water District.

Around 6:30 a.m., Bangor Water responded to a water main break on Main Street.

"We wanted to try to slow that down as much as we could, as fast as we could, to try to minimize the damage," said Smith.

But early on, the damage was already done.

"I heard some noise in the basement and I opened up the door and the water level was up to about the 5th or 6th step," said Gerald Winters, owner of Gerald Winters & Son Rare Books.

Gerald Winters, who owns a store full of rare and vintage books, had 8 feet of water in his basement.

"I was devastated," Winters said. "I put a lot of books into the basement to keep them safe and stuff before I got more space upstairs, and they're under water now. They're all destroyed."

With the water shut off, businesses downtown struggled to operate.

"So our business has been shut down, all nine employees are unable to work today so all that's lost," said Bob Gilgan, owner of Bella Hair Studio.

And if they weren't shaken enough by the flooding, the drilling outside sent vibrations through the area.

Crews spent most of the day breaking through layers of pavement and cobblestones before they could even figure out what the issue was.

But officials say the recent weather trends could be to blame.

"We got all that rain, the rain sits in the ground and then we get the cold snap again and the frost sets in, it's moving that old pipe," Smith said. "It doesn't take much to snap it when you get this cold."

The city says the leak was from the fire service line, not the main water line.

Water has since been restored to residents and businesses.

The repair should be complete by late Tuesday evening.