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Greensburg water main break: 'Like a river going down Pittsburgh Street'

Jacob Tierney
| Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018, 4:12 p.m.

The water was coming through the walls.

Ron Mancuso said there was no stopping the torrent that poured into the basement of Mancuso's Shoe Repair after a pipe burst in an adjoining parking garage Wednesday evening.

“It just went through the block wall and filled up,” he said.

Before long, the water in his basement was waist deep. He shares the building at the corner of West Pittsburgh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue with other businesses that also flooded.

A broken heater caused a pipe that supplies water to the parking garage's emergency sprinkler system to freeze and break, causing a massive leak, according to Greensburg street Supervisor Thomas Bell.

“It was like a river going down Pittsburgh Street,” Mancuso said.

City workers cleared the icy remains off West Pittsburgh Street Thursday morning.

McFeely's Gourmet Chocolates, which opened last month next to Mancuso's, has been without water since last week, which means no washing dishes or serving coffee to customers, said employee Morgan McFeely.

“We haven't been able to do anything,” she said.

A new heater was installed and the pipes likely will be repaired Friday, once they've had a chance to thaw, said Lawrence F. Becker III, who co-owns the building and garage with partner Gregory Moore.

Mancuso said some of his machinery was damaged, but he's still open for business. It's a familiar scenario — the pipes have burst three times since he started the business 41 years ago, he said.

The city used to own the building and garage, and cold weather was a constant struggle, Bell said.

“Ten or 15 years ago we had the same problem: The heater failed, and before they noticed it the pipe burst,” he said.

Becker and Moore said they are planning to renovate the building soon, and preventing a similar accident from happening again is a top priority, Becker said.

“As soon as we figure it out we'll be able to fix it,” he said.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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