Water Main Break Affects Business, Church in Harrisonburg

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Mother's Day plans changed for some on Sunday, after a water main break in downtown Harrisonburg. Public utilities crews reopened West Bruce Street at about 8 p.m. after replacing a five foot section of pipe.

Crews responded to a water main break after water gushed onto the road next to Asbury United Methodist Church. Crews have temporarily filled the hole with stones, after they replaced the water main pipe.

People won't be able to park cars on the street in front of Asbury United Methodist Church because of the temporary fix.

Church members said they were worried about flooding, because it's a problem they've dealt with before.

"Just hoping it doesn't increase because if the water increases then we are in it for the long haul," said Elliott Hay, son of Reverend Steve Hay.

The Hay family left Clementine after it closed because of muddy water.

"Can't really run a business without water," said Derek Niver, who is a server at Clementine Cafe.

The Hay family doesn't have to worry thanks to Harrisonburg Department of Public Utilities crews. Crews worked to drain water, pulling up asphalt and digging around the damaged water main pipe.

If the water had continued to rise, the church could have had flood damage.

"Because the road runs down hill it's really easy when there's excessive rain for it to just kind of run into the bottom of the building. And we've had a lot of damage. We've had to kind of tear up the floors in the past," said Elliott Hay.

Crews said the pipe split because of age. They replaced the pipe with a new one, so water should be flowing normally.

When the water main broke, a server at Clementine noticed right away.

"Just filling up waters for a new table that I got sat and I noticed that it was a little discolored and there was bits of dirt," said Niver.

Despite the inconvenience, Reverend Steve Hay has a sense of humor about it all now. Members of Asbury United Methodist Church are raising money for a capital campaign. Song lyrics changed to fit that, happened to be relevant on Sunday afternoon.

"Tune of 'Jesus Loves Me' and talked about water seeping through the ground and the difficulties we're having. And that was prophetic and now humorous now that the water has stopped seeping through," said Reverend Steve Hay.

West Bruce Street reopened at about eight on Sunday. Crews have temporary stones in place to block the hole for traffic. Public utilities crews will be out to look at the hole and talk about repairs. All water should be clear for area businesses.

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