Part of Broadway remains closed

SARANAC LAKE – A section of Broadway remains closed, and homes and businesses in the area were still under a boil water order this morning, three days after a major water line break downtown.

Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau said this morning that crews fixed the initial break, which happened late Friday afternoon on a 6-inch lateral line in front of Community Bank, only to discover over the weekend that water was still leaking out from somewhere else.

“A big 8-inch piece of cast iron had broken out of the lateral,” the mayor said. “They threaded an inch-and-a-half of specialized plastic through the old 6-inch lateral and were able to make the repair, but as they were doing that, water was coming down from other leaks uphill.”

As a result, Broadway from Olive Street to Woodruff Street will be closed again today so village crews can try to locate the other leaks, the mayor said. Rabideau said the village was waiting on equipment to help find the leaks.

“What (village Sewer Plant Operator) Kevin Pratt suspects is that the leaks are in the old shutoffs, and he’s trying to get a special kind of metal detector to help find them,” Rabideau said. “If they find them, great.”

If crews can’t find the leaks from above the ground, Rabideau said the village would have to excavate the entire length of the water main from the Broadway-Dorsey Street intersection to Olive Street or Bloomingdale Avenue to try and locate the leaks.

“They’re trying to avoid that,” he said.

Rabideau blamed freeze-thaw action for the breaks, which have shut down a section of Broadway to vehicle and pedestrian traffic during the three-day President’s Day weekend.

The leaks also flooded basements of some businesses and apartment buildings in the area, although the mayor said he didn’t know how many. Saranac Lake firefighters helped pump out the basement of the JC Penney building on Broadway on Sunday, then were called back this morning to pump it out again.

Temporary water supplies – hoses running from one building to the next – were installed for businesses and residences in the area, including the Enterprise. Even though the water was left running to prevent the newspaper’s temporary line from freezing, it still froze overnight Sunday and the building was without water until about 8:30 this morning.

A boil-water order is in effect for the block on Broadway between Bloomingdale Avenue and Dorsey Street. No other areas of the village are affected.

Rabideau thanked people and businesses affected for their patience, and he commended village crews for their work.

“We’re doing our best,” he said. “I do applaud our crews for working though the weekend with a good attitude.”