Water finally back on in Henryetta but cost may hurt the city
HENRYETTA, Okla. (KTUL) -- It took more than 24 hours to turn the water back on in Henryetta.
Restaurants, businesses and even the school system are reopening, but the water line break could put a damper on profits.
“I heard a big pop, and when I came to lock the gate, there was water everywhere,” James Boerstler said.
Boerstler’s lumber shop is just yards away from where a massive water main exploded Sunday morning.
“I hadn’t seen a water break that big in years,” he said.
Boerstler said the water flowed for at least an hour and a half.
“Took them a long time to turn it off because they had to turn off this valve and that valve,” Boerstler said, ultimately depleting all of the water in the tanks and leaving the entire town dry.
“You can’t use the bathroom; no bath last night. It is pretty tough using bottled water to brush your teeth,” Dion Wright said.
Wright also works in the lumber shop.
Their store, unlike many of the restaurants in town, didn’t need to close because they don’t have to have water to operate but being without is still hurting their bottom line.
“A lot of people calling not knowing how to get in because roads are blocked,” Wright said. “It is muddy. We are dragging mud in everywhere.”
Mayor Jennifer Munholland says crews worked from 6 a.m. Sunday, all throughout the day and night to get the line fixed.
“It actually split through different areas of the pipe,” Munholland said.
It’s unclear what exactly caused the break, but Munholland thinks the cold weather, the age of the pipe and heavy rains may all have had a hand in creating the problem.
“Infrastructure is a difficult thing to keep up, to buy new pipes, to do the things that need to be done because that takes massive amounts of money and our total income for the city tax base is about $200,000 a month give or take,” Munholland said.
She says this water line break may set the city back a little but getting water to the town is worth every cent.
The town is on a voluntary boil order until the tanks are completely full again.