City Continues to Fight Against Water Main Breaks

City of Tulsa crews are continuing to repair water main breaks in the cold weather. Just before 10 a.m. city officials reported crews were fixing 20 breaks. Some of those are from the day before when crews responded to a nearly record-breaking 31."The guys are working pretty hard right now. They were working five 10-hour shifts. Now they're working six 10-hour shifts," said city spokesperson Bob Bledsoe. He said the city has hired on an additional contractor to handle the overflow. Crews had to block off a section of Garnett north of Pine earlier this morning for water main repairs. Intersections at 26th and Sandusky and 39th and Rockford experienced flooding from breaks.Bledsoe said Tulsa's climate allows for extreme hot and extreme cold which can contribute to breaks. Also, the city has some cast iron pipes that are between 40 and 60 years old. The city has about $9 million per year for water line repairs. Bledsoe said the city is doing fine with this budget as of now.The city is budgeting about $60 million over the next five years for line replacement.Monte Cassino's Elementary School had to close Tuesday due to a water main break at 21st and Utica. Students would not have had access to regular facilities. School Director Matt Vereecke said Monte Cassino is grateful for the work crews are doing. He hopes classes will resume Wednesday."We're so thankful for everything that they're doing. It's an inconvenience to our parents, but ultimately, again, there's nothing the city can do about it aside from respond, and their response has been quick," Vereecke said. Drivers are encouraged to not drive over breaks, because it is possible for cement to buckle. The city has a 24-hour emergency phone number to report water main breaks. It is 918-596-7338.