Village DPW, Fire Dept. respond after Second Street water main ruptures
NORTH HORNELL — One large water main break on Second Street along with three or four smaller fissures kept public works crews and fire personnel busy for several hours Monday in the Village of North Hornell.
"It was a major, major water leak,” North Hornell Mayor John Falci said.
The North Hornell Department of Public Works shut down the main while the North Hornell Fire Department stanched the flooding, the fire department reported in a press release.
No boil water advisory was needed, but the village sent out a “‘Red Alert’ explaining that you're (not) going to have water temporarily for a number of residences,” Falci said.
The leaks were repaired, and water service was restored to the impacted area late Monday night.
Steuben County 911 called out the North Hornell Fire Department at approximately 2 p.m., reporting that a water main break at Second Street near the Elmwood Avenue intersection was sending water into the street and flooding a nearby basement.
A truck parked on the street directly over the main break began to sink as water undermined the road, North Hornell Fire Chief Mike Robbins said. He added that the truck was moved out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.
The breaks resulted in about eight inches of water accumulating in the basement of a residence at the corner of Second Street and Maplewood Avenue, while firefighters diverted water heading toward a residential basement at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Second Street, the fire department said.
Firefighters checked other nearby homes for potential water damage, but no other major problems turned up, Robbins said.
The village received an initial report of a line break from a North Hornell resident.
"Right after that, we received a call from the City of Hornell Water Department that there was an abundant amount of water going into the system, so they knew that there was something wrong somewhere,” Falci told The Spectator Tuesday. "It was, I believe, probably a 16-inch pipe, and it had corroded on the bottom. It was probably a blowout on the bottom of the pipe, and we quickly repaired that."
But that was not problem-solved, because other breaks turned up.
"When we repaired it, we found out that there were three more leaks further down the line, smaller leaks,” Falci recounted. "We had to go back with our excavator and get our bulldozer — we had to go back and get it all. We had to dig about probably another 10 yards further down than we thought we had to dig.
“So what we thought was going to be one repair job of that major blowout turned out to be four leaks altogether. We thought we'd be done early evening. It turned out to be 11 o'clock before we had everything back to normal.
The Arkport Fire Department provided North Hornell firefighters with mutual aid, while the Town of Hornellsville Highway Department assisted public works crews.
"We worked together with Hornellsville, and they filled in the rather large hole (Tuesday) morning,” Falci said. “The hole was probably ten yards, twelve yards long, and probably five feet wide.
"Our guys repaired the pipe, and Hornellsville helped with the fill, bringing the fill in because they have bigger dump trucks than we have."
Falci added that the impacted section of the street will have to be repaved.