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Regina woman falls into hole allegedly caused by water main break
Published Friday, September 1, 2017 6:19PM CST
Heather Bell looked out at the street in front of her house. The road is dry now, but a few days ago, it was covered in water. That water that was hiding a significant hazard.
“There was so much water you couldn't see where this hole was,” said Bell.
A water main broke in front of bell's home on Wednesday. Bell called the city several times throughout the day to deal with the break.
“Then, I called them a third time I think around 6:30 p.m. because there was quite a bit more water and it was coming up on the sidewalk,” said Bell.
Barricades were put up, but traffic splashed even more water onto her property to get around them. Bell crossed the flooded street and attempted to move them.
“I took one step and I just went into this hole that I didn't know was there,” said Bell.
Bell found herself waist deep in water, with one leg dangling in the hole.
“I just started screaming, ‘Help, help, help!’ I was afraid,” said Bell. “I didn't know if what I was hanging onto was going to slide forward and if I was going to get sucked into a hole."
Bell's neighbour helped her get out. She was shaken, and sore from the ordeal. She called the city again, and it responded in half an hour. When the water was shut off, the street revealed an eight-foot by three-foot hole.
Bell is now filing a claim with the city. The city said could not comment on the specific incident, but that it deploys crews as quickly as possible.
“If we can, we let the leak run so that we don't have to interrupt water service,” said Pat Wilson, director of water works with the city. “Sometimes, though, we do have to disconnect water or turn the water off just to protect public safety and infrastructure.
The city confirmed August was a record-breaking month for the number of water main breaks, with 112 breaks. That number could rise though, as the city says, historically, September is the worst month for water main breaks.
“Between January and June, we only had 28 breaks. We had another 28 in july and 112 in august. So, certainly we are going to be spending the main break budget faster,” said Wilson.
About $1-million is left in the $2.8 million budget. The city said it hopes the remaining funds will last through the rest of the year.
Bell said she hopes her incident will encourage the city to respond to breaks quicker.
“I would suggest that they did not have that marked properly,” said Bell.