Hutchinson crews tackle series of water main breaks

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. -- When Hutchinson's Cyndy Landon took her dog out Monday in front of her home on Cochran Street, she was stunned by what she saw.

"The whole street was full of water and it looked like the Arkansas River," Landon said. "It was rushing. You could hear it."

She says it didn't take too long for her to find the source.

"I looked farther north and saw it was kind of bubbling up out of the middle of the street," Landon said.

She says she luckily got a quick warm shower before the water was turned off to her and others on Cochran Street between 14th and 16th Streets.

She says arriving city maintenance crews even helped her get her car out of her icy driveway so she could go to her appointments.

"They pushed me out! They're good!" Landon said.

The water main break Monday on Cochran Street is the fifth in the past three days in Hutchinson, Public Works Director Reg Jones said. While it has been very cold this past week, he believes it's just a coincidence.

"It seems unusual to have so many at one time but they don't really appear to be weather-related," Jones said. "It's just maybe bad timing for our folks that have to go out and repair them."

He says fixing the pipes has not taken away from the city's street clearing efforts because the crews are in different divisions. But it still takes time and resources and forces city workers to be outside in the elements.

On Monday, crews spent more than four hours fixing the Cochran Street break and restoring water service.

"It's not the thing you want for cold weather, either for them or for us," Landon said.

Landon did find a bright side to the situation Monday. She says with her car stuck behind all the city equipment, it gave her the opportunity to get her driveway cleared.

"Otherwise, I wouldn't have had the chance because the car would be here," Landon said. "So, I figure, I might as well shovel and clear it off!"

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