MARYLAND

Repeat water main breaks in Maryland

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WHEATON, Md. (WJLA) - Toni Kim has a bit of real-life déjà vu. On Monday night, a 78-year-old water main broke from the cold, cutting off water to her Wheaton salon for 24 hours.

Residents forced to evacuate

This afternoon, a pipe gave out yet again just 50 feet from where it broke several days ago.

"We filled up all the buckets that we can in the salon and then called our customers to tell them the water wouldn't be warm," said Toni.

Hugo Salon is managing to stay open, even though it is among 102 WSSC customers – including an apartment building – who are without water.

A contractor is currently working to fix the pipe, which is one of roughly 70 in Montgomery and P.G. County in need of repairs from the cold.

"We are just maxed out, we are bringing contractors in, but there's a certain point where there's only so many crews to go around. We are doing our best working 24/7 to get these folks back in service," said Jerry with the WSSC.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of barking at the Wheaton Animal Hospital, as it’s the second time this week they’ve watched their water dwindle to just a drizzle.

"Water's turning brown, the water pressure's gone, we were in the middle of cleaning a dog and no water," said Keith.

Fortunately, crews dropped off more than 30 gallons of bottled water after the first break, so they're fine for now.

Later on Friday night, there was still water water everywhere from the broken main – except where it was supposed to be.

"For the time being, we don't have water," says Solomon Wold, who has been evacuated from the Ambassador Apartments.

"This pipe was put in when FDR was in the White House," says WSSC spokesman Jerry Irvine.

"Where are we going to go? I don't know where to go," says frustrated resident Crucita Reynoso.

Because this was the second break to happen on the very same pipe since Tuesday, there is no water and no heat at the apartment complex.

"It broke two days ago and we were still without water for two days," explains Reynoso.

As dozens of residents were evacuated to a nearby hotel, tempers boiled over, and WSSC admits that it’s getting overwhelmed.

"It is very frustrating. We haven't had use of the commode except for one day this week," says evacuated resident Donald Hale.

"We are bringing in contractors, but there's a certain point where there's only so many crews to get around," explains WSSC's Jerry Irvine.

With no estimate from WSSC as to when the work will be completed, the wait for water continues.

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