NC, Morning water break disrupts downtown Asheville : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

By Mark Barrett, STAFF WRITER Updated: Jun 23 at 01:32

ASHEVILLE - A water main break Thursday morning at the corner of Patton Avenue and Church Street downtown shut down several nearby restaurants and inconvenienced hundreds of office workers.

The break occurred before dawn and customers on either side of Patton Avenue and a small portion of Pack Square were without water until between noon and 1 p.m., said Tom Frederick, head of the city water resources department.

One business in the BB&T Building sent its workers home at about 9:30 a.m., said William Wilcox, vice president of building owner Tower Associates.

Other workers - about 600 work in the building, Wilcox said - just made do. Building management "encouraged the tenants to patronize the restaurant of your choice and use the restroom while you're there," Wilcox said.

Of course, the break reduced those choices.

"We closed half a day," said Jing Wang, an owner of The Noodle Shop on Pack Square. Wang said she had expected a particularly good day because of the presence of additional visitors downtown for the Honda Hoot motorcyclist event.

A couple of doors down, Bistro 1896 had a similar experience, shutting down for lunch.

"It caused a little bit of a pain," said night manager Stephen Veltman.

An 8-inch water pipe split down the side, Frederick said. He said the cast iron pipe was at least 30 years old and age was probably a factor in the break, but he could not pinpoint the exact cause.

Workers temporarily had water back on around 11:30 a.m., Frederick said, but then discovered another problem and had to shut water off again briefly.

-- Doris (, June 24, 2000

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