Water Main Break Leaves Panama City Residents High and Dry

By: Meg Rose - Email
By: Meg Rose - Email
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PANAMA CITY-- A water main that broke Monday night leaving several Panama City residents and businesses high and dry.

Water from the break caused many residents and businesses to be without water for more than 12 hours.

"My son works at Angelo's and he is very sweaty and dirty when he gets in, so he came home at midnight and wasn't able to shower," said Panama City resident Cici Farner.

"I got up in the middle of the night and the water was off," said Panama City resident Ben Graham

"I was coming into work today for an 11:30 a.m. and I had no idea that there was a water outage," said Gulf Coast student and teaching assistant Maria Scicchitano.

Bay County Utility Services Director Paul Lackenmacher says the break started when water crews were looking at a meter connection on Frankfort Avenue near 23rd street.

They're still unsure of what exactly caused the 30 year old pipe to burst.

"Once we exposed it, the restraint not being there whether it rusted away or was never there we still don't know that at this moment in time, that's when the pipe let loose," said Director of Utility Services Paul Lackenmacher.

Water rushing through the pipe was not their only concern.

"What we're dealing with is run off water from the adjacent property, trying to pump that down, so we can repair the pipe," said Lackenmacher.

Lackenmacher said the beach is cooperating by rerouting the water from the West Bay to the East Side of the beach.

Gulf Coast State College cancelled day classes Tuesday on their main campus because their air conditioning units need water to operate.

Affected residents said there's not much they could do in this situation but be patient.

"It could have been a lot worse, and could be a lot worse, but you just can't let things bother you like this bother you too much," said Graham.

"You have to take it in stride, things break and you just have to kinda deal with it," said Farner.

Lackenmacher said they tested the water before they turned it back on just after 12 p.m., but Panama City officials issued a boil advisory anyway, as a precautionary measure.


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