UPDATE: Water Line Burst Floods Charleston Business and Streets

By: Brooks Jarosz, Anna Baxter Email
By: Brooks Jarosz, Anna Baxter Email

UPDATE 9/25/12 @ 7 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Flooded streets and a muddy mess were left behind following a major water burst that sent water spewing.

Downtown Charleston was underwater near the intersection of Lee and Capitol streets Tuesday morning. Water officials say a burst in a fire suppression system caused the flowing water.

Several feet of water poured into the basement of a business along Capitol Street. The owner at Delfine's Jewelry says she was walking to work when she saw concrete, mud and water shooting up near the back door.

"When I walked in I knew it was going to be a huge mess," business owner Megan Delfine said. "I'm seeing it come from the ground and I'm thinking how in the world has this mess gotten so big, so fast?"

West Virginia American Water had to dig to locate the old shut-off valve. Officials say the building's owner is ultimately responsible since the pipes are part of the structure.

"It's just beyond our control," Delfine said. "Charleston's an old city; they've got old pipelines."

Delfine Jewelry was forced to close Tuesday and prepare to clean up. The owner says they've lost thousands of dollars, including expensive equipment. While most will be covered by insurance, Delfine says it's the nostalgic items that can never be replaced.

"My father always put a beautiful Christmas display in the front window," Delfine said. "It's his train he's had since he was a small child."

Several things were destroyed as employees are left with a waterlogged, damaged and dirty store. They're hoping new pipes will prevent another unexpected workday surprise.

City officials say many of the pipes underground are decades old, with some more than 100 years. It is a common problem downtown where lines will burst.

At the jewelry store, the owners say this is the third time in three years they've had water damage caused from a break or malfunction.

Officials tell WSAZ.com it's the landlord's responsibility to make sure all of the lines are in good shape. If not, they must pay for any needed repairs, which can be costly.

UPDATE 9/25/12 @ 11:15 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Things are getting back to normal in downtown Charleston after a water line broke and flooded a busy street.

The break happened about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Several inches of water were covering Lee Street, but it has since gone down.

A spokesperson with West Virginia American Water tells WSAZ.com that a fire suppression line broke in the Odd Fellows Building at the corner of Lee and Capitol streets.

Water crews were able to shut off the water about 25 minutes after the initial report.

Laura Jordan says now that the water is turned off the owner of that building can bring in crews to repair the problem.

At least one downtown business was flooded.

We have a crew at the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/25/12 @ 10:26 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A water main break has flooded Lee and Capitol streets in Charleston.

Kanawha County 911 Dispatchers say there was a large break about 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Several inches of water were covering Lee Street, but it has since gone down.

West Virginia American Water has been notified and are on scene. Workers were able to shut off the water.

Dispatchers are unsure what caused it, but say the water company was not on scene when the burst happened.

No other details are being released at this time.

We have a crew at the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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