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Westmoreland

Youngwood water line break mars roadway

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 5:09 p.m.

Traffic in Youngwood was detoured Wednesday to avoid the intersection of Avenue A and Depot Street after a break in a 30-inch water transmission line caused significant damage to the road.

The intersection became a raging torrent of water as the evening commute began. The water main break was reported about 4:45 p.m.

According to Youngwood Fire Chief Lloyd Crago, the force of the water obliterated the eastbound lane of Depot Street where it crosses the railroad tracks by the Youngwood Historical & Railroad Museum.

“One lane's already gone, and things are starting to lift up on the other side, too,” Crago said as he surveyed the scene.

Depot Street is heavily used by drivers making their way to Westmoreland County Community College.

“It's a very well-traveled road,” Crago said, adding that he did not know how long the intersection would be closed.

“Until they get the water shut off, we won't know quite the extent of it,” he said.

Ray Alincic, president of the nonprofit railroad museum's board, said the building sustained a good amount of water damage.

“The carpet in the dining room area is soaked up to the walls, and there's water in the basement,” Alincic said. “We've had three pumps down in the basement for a while, to deal with the sewage issue we've had the past 10 years. If it wasn't for those pumps, the (water) damage would probably have been worse.”

A crew from the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County was dispatched and was in the process of shutting off the water to that section of the transmission line, said Matt Junker, an authority spokesman. The break in the cast iron line did not result in a loss of water to customers, Junker said.

“We responded immediately,” Junker said.

The tracks of the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, a 33-mile county-owned short-line freight hauler, are closed because of the break, a public safety supervisor said.

With additional reporting by Joe Napsha. Patrick Varine is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at 724-850-2862 or via Twitter @murrysvillestar.

An employee of the Westmoreland County Municipal Authority crosses the flooded Depot Street in Youngwood on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, while working at the scene of a water main break.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
An employee of the Westmoreland County Municipal Authority crosses the flooded Depot Street in Youngwood on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, while working at the scene of a water main break.
Volunteer firefighter Bill Helman with the Youngwood Fire Department passes out bottles of water to fellow firefighters while working at the scene of a water main break on Depot Street in Youngwood on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Volunteer firefighter Bill Helman with the Youngwood Fire Department passes out bottles of water to fellow firefighters while working at the scene of a water main break on Depot Street in Youngwood on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
Traffic is rerouted around a water main break in Youngwood near the intersection of Avenue A and Depot Street, according to county emergency dispatchers.
Patrick Varine
Traffic is rerouted around a water main break in Youngwood near the intersection of Avenue A and Depot Street, according to county emergency dispatchers.
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