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Water Main Break Turns Park City Street Into River; Creates Sinkhole

PARK CITY, Utah – A water main break sent water and debris rushing down Main Street on Thursday night.

It flooded some local businesses, and the impact of the break stretched into Friday.

Katie Babcotk, who owns Main Street Deli, said it was “like a river down Main Street,” noting it’s the most water she’s seen from what seem to be yearly water main breaks on Park Avenue.

“This was intense,” she said.

City officials said 911 calls began pouring in around 9 p.m. to report the issue. Crews from public works, Park City Fire Department and the Park City Police Department worked quickly to get the line shut off and get sandbags laid in order direct water away from businesses.

“I was just going to bed and I heard what I thought was a chainsaw,” said Park City resident Tim Tribale. “The guys were down here cutting out the street. There was a gusher coming out the side of the street just flooding the entire Trappers Way running into Main Street.”

Some businesses, like 501 on Main, were feeling the impact even after the flooding was over.

“We cannot operate a restaurant without water,” said owner Paul Marsh, who said his business couldn’t open while the water main remained off during repairs. “… It’s a few thousand dollars in terms of revenue.”

The cause of the water main break is under investigation, but a city official said it could be related to new pavement that was laid a week prior.

There were also repairs made to the line in 2004.

“What we are finding right now is the valves were somewhat rusted,” said Linda Jager, Park City Municipal public information officer. “That was contributing to the incident last night.”

The break also lead to a giant sinkhole, and it could take up to a week for road repairs to be complete, officials said.

Some Park City residents said water main breaks are common, but the impact isn’t usually as significant as Thursday night’s.

Residents or business owners who were impacted by the flooding are encouraged to contact the Park City Water Department at 435-615-5305 or visit parkcity.org.

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