VIRGINIA

Water main break affects Arlington businesses, homes

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A major cleanup is now complete following a water main break that crippled an Arlington intersection.

Several roads were shut down for most of the day in the area of 12th and S. Clark streets in Crystal City.

County engineers say an aging water main crack Friday morning, sending water shooting into the air for hours.

Crews building the Boeing Company's new regional headquarters halted their work soon after the road began filling like a pool.

Residents living and working in the area were also affected.

"The water was like six or seven feet high, just shooting into the air with the pavement kind of jutting out. It looked surreal," Jim Barker, the owner of Crystal City Wine Shop, said.

Barker got to work just as all the streets around him were being blocked off.

Initial attempts to shut off the water failed.

Barker added, "It has been a little slower today I think with even just parking. People just don't want to stop and park and whatnot with all the police and everything and all their orange cones everywhere."

George Stejic lives and works around the soaked streets and spent most of his day in uncertainty.

"The water is out in both my office building and at home, and we don't know when we're going to get water back," Stejic said.

After several hours of work, crews controlled the flooding. Water was then restored to the five office buildings and one apartment building that lost service.

But new problems arose.

Harry Wang with the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services said, "We just found out after excavating the pipe, it's old infrastructure. A crack in this pipe, and it's pretty long."

Crews replaced the pipe, but as they finished their work, another water main break occurred. This one at the corner of 20th and South Joyce Street.

Repairs to that water main will be made Saturday, September 1.

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