COLUMBUS, Ohio – City officials have not determined whether cold temperatures caused a massive break in a water main in downtown Columbus that spilled water across a downtown intersection and parts of adjacent streets.
TRAFFIC NOTE: Monday morning, N. 4th Street was closed between E. Broad and E. Long Street and E. Gay Street was closed at N. 4th Street as crews continued to work to repair the break. Some lanes of 4th and Gay streets were reopening shortly before 6:45 a.m. but it was possible closures could remain in place through the morning rush.
The break should be fixed by around noon and water service restored but people should boil their drinking and cooking water as a precaution until further notice, public utilities department spokeswoman Laura Young Mohr said.
Employees of state offices in the area are being told to stay home, including the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the Department of Education. Only essential staff was being called in to the Ohio Attorney General’s Columbus offices on Gay Street and in the Rhodes State Office Tower.
The rupture was reported Monday in a pipe beneath the road, several blocks from the Statehouse. Mohr says the cause isn’t clear, and officials don’t know whether the cold weather was a factor.
The break has raised concerns about water freezing on the roads. Mohr says her department is working with public safety officials to address any ice that might form.
The break caused a water supply problem that affected Grant Medical Center for about four hours before water was rerouted and pressure returned to near normal levels, OhioHealth media relations manager Colin Yoder said.
“The hospital cancelled a small number of elective surgeries and placed the emergency department on diversion for a few hours as a result of the break. Patient care, otherwise, was not impacted,” Yoder said in a statement issued via e-mail Monday night.
–Photo courtesy ABC6/FOX28