Petersburg gives away free water to those impacted by water main - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Petersburg gives away free water to those impacted by water main break

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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

Petersburg officials continue to urge people living or working in the city to boil all drinking water.

The City is partnering with Food Lion to distribute free water to residents experiencing low water pressure beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Two gallons of water will be given to each family. The water will be distributed at the Food Lion store located at 2120 South Crater Road, while supplies last. Please note the free water is only available at this location.

Southside Regional Medical Center is without city water, per a hospital spokesperson.  As soon as the City notified hospital officials on Monday, they arranged for water from outside sources. According to hospital officials, Southside Regional Medical Center is operating close to normal.   

Walnut Hill Elementary School is closed Tuesday due to complications from the water main break in Petersburg.

According to Petersburg school spokesperson, Nicole Bell-Van Patten, all Walnut Hill Elementary students are off, but employees and staff are to report on time Tuesday.

Repair crews are continuing their work on the 40-foot long water main that burst on South Crater Road at Morton Avenue. According to the Petersburg Department of Public Works and Utilities, crews were repairing a crack in a water line Sunday night, but when they went to turn the water off, things just got worse.

"While we were trying to repair the water line, the valve also burst and broke," said Steven Hicks with the Department of Public Works and Utilities. "It's a 44-year-old pipe. It's just aged and fell apart."

A geyser burst into the air as more than five million gallons were lost on the roadway. One lane of traffic was closed during the evening commute, which caused backups on Petersburg's main corridor.

Meanwhile, 4,500 customers including businesses had little to no water. Most businesses closed early though a few were resourceful, buying water jugs to sustain the day's work.

Southside Regional said all elective surgeries were canceled Monday and will be canceled Tuesday as well. They outsourced their water and said, all operations were functioning normally and according to their emergency plan.

At thousands of homes, many did without showers or toilets flushing. Petersburg officials are also asking folks to conserve water if they can. 

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