Tuesday, 16 January 2018 17:25

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

Written by 

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.

Kayla Fish

[email protected]

Kayla joined the ABC 7 & FOX 22 news team in May of 2017. She got into journalism because she loves talking with people, and she's incredibly grateful to share the stories of Mainers throughout the region.

She got her start in broadcasting way back in middle school as a member of a morning announcements TV broadcast club, and her love for the news industry took off from there.

Kayla graduated from Penn State University in 2017 with degrees in broadcast journalism and Spanish. During her time as a student at Penn State, Kayla was an executive producer and reporter for the "Centre County Report", an Emmy award-winning student-run newscast. She studied abroad in Ronda, Spain and traveled to Panama with an international reporting class. Kayla kept busy in college, spending four years working as a student manager in the dining hall.

Kayla grew up in the village of Shawnee-on-Delaware, located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, so transitioning into life in Vacationland was a piece of cake! A self-described winter fanatic, she loves all things snow related, including hitting the slopes on her snowboard. She also likes hiking, kayaking or doing anything outdoors. She loves meeting new people so if you see her around, be sure to stop and say hi!