CEDAR RAPIDS – About 150 residents will not have water for an undetermined amount of time as crews investigate and repair multiple water main breaks in southwest Cedar Rapids Thursday afternoon, officials said.
Around three water mains are experiencing issues near Wilson Avenue from 18th Street to Hughes Drive SW, and have diverted traffic to avoid the water and allow crews to work on the water mains. Fixing one of the mains can take about three hours or more, officials said.
“We are experiencing about the same main breaks we see in the middle of winter,” City of Cedar Rapids Communications and Education Director Megan Murphy said. “The number of main breaks kicks up in the winter, but given the dryness of the soil due to the drought, we’ve had an increase in main breaks in the last month or so.” According to officials, power was briefly lost to a water plant, 761 J Avenue NE, around 2:30 p.m. A triggering event like losing power could cause a water hammer, or a “mini-tsunami in the pipe,” but authorities have not yet determined an official cause.
“I can’t say what caused this at this point,” Murphy said.
There is no information available for when the repairs will be finished and the water will be restored, Murphy said. Residents are encouraged to consider alternate routes due to access issues near Wilson Avenue from 18th Street to Hughes Drive SW.
The incident remains under investigation.