Water main break creates a huge mess in Fox Chase

- People in Fox Chase had very different plans for New Year’s Eve. What began as a leak turned into a full blown water main break, complete with flooding and a hole in the street. 2017 came to an end for the residents of the 900 block of Strahle Street with a geyser of water and a fast moving flood.

“It bust open this morning. You saw the water? Yea, it was everywhere, it was like a river,” said resident Jeffrey Kernaghan.

A river that started as a trickle running down Strahle Friday evening, December 29 and into Saturday, December 30, say residents.

Concerned it was the 8-inch city water main feeding the 25 homes starting to fail, they called the Water Department.

“We woke up to a big blast out in the street. We’re a little disappointed with the Water Department,” said resident Tom Hanna.

It blew early Sunday morning, December 31, and filled basements with 2 to 3 feet of water and coated the street and driveways with a glassy layer of rock-hard ice.

The Water Department says its’ had so many breaks in the artic-blast, its’ had to respond to the worst-to-first. And, Strahle Street was, at first, only a leak.

“This time of year where we have a high volume of main breaks to do, we triage, we prioritize where our services are needed most,” said Water Department spokesman John DiGiulio.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. I went to the basement at 7:30, there was brown water gushing through the garage door all over the rugs. That’s our whole family room down there, not just a basement,” said resident Suzie O’Connor.

The city had clean-up crews on the scene at nightfall pushing the water out and ripping up soaked rugs.

The department says it will replace hot water tanks and heaters claimed by the flood. 

But neighbors argue faster action could have avoided all this.

“It took long? It took too long and they had plenty of warning. What’s the cost now?” asked Hanna.

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