Portion of York Road in Cockeysville closed by water main break to reopen by Monday

by Rachael Pacella and Maya Earls, originally posted on June 22, 2016


The portion of York Road in Cockeysville that has been closed since Monday due to a water main break will reopen in time for commuters next Monday morning, June 27, officials said Wednesday.

“The roadwork will be complete this weekend, in time for rush hour Monday morning,” Baltimore County Department of Public Works spokeswoman Lauren Watley said.

York Road has been closed between Phoenix and McCormick Roads since 12:30 a.m. June 20, after a water main rupture washed soil from beneath the road surface and caused a hole wider than a lane of traffic to form.

The broken main left 3,000 residents without service for more than 24 hours earlier this week. Officials announced on social media Wednesday morning that the main had been repaired and refilled with water. Officials advised residents that if their water is rusty, they should let it run until it is clear.

The break in a 20-inch main, which occurred near Thornton Mill Road, took Baltimore City Department of Public Works officials about two days to repair. Baltimore City owns and operates most of the water utilities in Baltimore County. County officials are repairing the road.

Several residents and representative of businesses in the area on Tuesday described how they were making due without water service.

At around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Joann Koch and her niece, Gia Gover, were on their way to Graul’s Market in the Roundwood Center, off west Padonia Road, in Mays Chapel, when they were stopped by a sign on the door — closed due to water outage.

Koch, who lives in Timonium, near the shopping center, said on Tuesday that she had been without running water at her home since Monday afternoon.

“It’s not easy; you can’t even wash your hands,” she said.

She had no trouble buying bottled water from a supermarket up the street, she said, adding that she understood the situation. “It’s not like someone purposely did this.”

Baltimore County officials offered water Tuesday to residents who lost water due to the rupture. Residents who need water can bring a container to fill to the Baltimore County Fire Department’s Station 17, located at 9835 York Road, in Cockeysville. As of 7:47 p.m. Tuesday night the county said water is still available at that location.

On Tuesday afternoon, not long after a severe storm ripped through the area, Judy Worthington, of Mays Chapel, came to the fire station to fill up three gallon containers with water. On the first attempt, the hose sprayed water everywhere. By the third bottle, Worthington filled the container and barely spilled a drop.

“The third time’s the charm,” Worthington said.

Meanwhile, those connected to businesses at the Roundwood Center also were making due Tuesday. At The Salon at Mays Chapel, owner Michele Brunner said she has had to reschedule about 75 percent of her appointments thanks to a lack of running water.

Some customers who wanted service urgently brought their own water, which stylists used to wash their hair. For those who wanted coloring done, the stylists applied the dye and the customers went home and washed it out themselves, she said.

A few doors down, at Kooper’s North restaurant, Director of Operations Willy Dely said the eatery closed Monday afternoon after losing water. However, the restaurant has a food truck, which it planned to park outside for dinner service Tuesday evening.

The loss of a regular dinner service Monday and lunch and dinner service Tuesday has had a big impact on business, Dely added.

“We’re already talking five figures we’re losing,” he said, adding that if water service is not available soon, some food that has already been prepped to cook will go bad, compounding the loss.

Managers at local grocery stores said they saw a small increase in water sales Monday and Tuesday.

Retirement homes in the area also felt the impact of the water outage, including at nearby Broadmead Retirement Community.

“We have brought in about 5,000 gallons of bottled water,” Joyce Malone, senior director of facilities said Tuesday. “We also have a natural spring that we’re using for our cooling systems. That is helping to keep our residents cool.”

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