Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Water Main Break Creates Gusher near Jail

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Water Main Break Creates Gusher near Jail

Article excerpt

A large water main break evoked images of the geyser "Old Faithful," shooting water about 40 feet into the air Thursday morning on the south side of the Shawnee County Jail before it was quickly brought under control on the east edge of downtown Topeka.

The water main break was one of two that happened about 9 a.m. about a block away from each other.

The most spectacular of the two occurred on the north side of the T-intersection at S.E. 9th and Jefferson, in a grassy area immediately south of the jail, where water shot high into the air. It was brought under control by about 9:30 a.m.

The other water main break occurred a block to the south at S.E. 10th and Jefferson.

Water was cut off to a number of downtown area buildings as a result of the break, and city crews were working to get the service restored. City officials announced Thursday afternoon on Twitter that water service had been restored to the jail.

The city's water department reduced traffic on S.E. 10th between Jefferson and Madison to one lane in each direction as it worked to repair the break.

In the minutes after the break, plumes of water could be seen spraying high above the south side of the three-story jail, located at 501 S.E. 8th.

City crews were able to cut off water to the line in about 30 minutes to stop it from spraying into the air. After the water was shut off, a large hole that was full of water was visible in the grassy area on the north side of S.E. 9th, near a delivery sign for the jail.

Westar Energy trucks arrived on the scene about 9:15 a.m. to restore power to an area of downtown Topeka that lost electricity about the same time of the water main break. Stoplights downtown were flashing or were out because of the power failure.

City officials said it wasn't immediately known whether the power outage was related to the water main break. …

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