Archive for Friday, December 11, 2009

Break of water main forces closure of Lawrence Public Library

City crews work on a water main break at the intersection of Seventh and Kentucky streets, Friday, December, 11, 2009. The break caused the public library to shut down and two businesses to go without water.

City crews work on a water main break at the intersection of Seventh and Kentucky streets, Friday, December, 11, 2009. The break caused the public library to shut down and two businesses to go without water.

December 11, 2009, 10:22 a.m. Updated December 11, 2009, 3:36 p.m.


Crews work to fix water line break

Crews spent about seven hours Friday fixing a broken water line near Seventh and Kentucky streets. The broken line caused water to be shut off at some nearby businesses. Enlarge video

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Water main break

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A water main break Friday in downtown Lawrence caused the public library to shut down and two businesses to go without water for several hours.

Jeanette Klamm, program manager for the Lawrence Department of Utilities, said the water main break was reported about 7:30 a.m. at Seventh and Kentucky streets. Klamm said such incidents are common when there are drastic changes in temperatures.

“It’s a risk of doing business, for the water department,” she said. “All the pipes – water and sewer – are in the ground and as the ground shifts, these kinds of things happen.”

Officials shut down Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt., for the entire day. The library had been scheduled to be open until 9 p.m. Friday. It’s scheduled to reopen at 9 a.m. today. Saturday

“It was totally out of anyone’s control,” said Bruce Flanders, library director. “We regret any inconvenience to the public.”

Klamm said two businesses also were affected by the line break, Cold Stone Creamery and Starbucks Coffee, which are at the northwest corner of Seventh and Massachusetts.

“I guess it’s part of being in Kansas,” said Andrew Foster, who left Starbucks empty-handed Friday morning. “That stuff just happens; you just have to deal with it.”

Water was restored to the businesses and the library about 2:30 p.m., seven hours after the break, Klamm said.

A few lanes of traffic near Seventh and Kentucky streets were closed because of the break. The city said the road will be repaired next week.


Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 1 month ago

Informed, that was my first thought, I lived in the library when I was homeless. Thank God I have a home and I pray for those who still do not.

jfcm77 5 years, 1 month ago

It was that bridge blast that did it!

gccs14r 5 years, 1 month ago

How can a restaurant of any kind even consider being open with no water? Is it legal for them to be open?

PJ Karasek 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm the manager of Cold Stone and we're not open until the water gets turned on, we were just waiting to hear the official word from our owners. You're correct though, it is to my knowledge against health code to operate a food establishment without running water.

walkthehawk 5 years, 1 month ago

gccs14r--I was wondering the same thing. Isn't water essential to basic hygiene practices required under health codes? I don't care if they're brewing coffee or not--serving food (even if it's prepared beforehand) while going the entire day without washing hands sounds like a bad idea.

imastinker 5 years, 1 month ago

Along the same lines - why does no water shut down a library?

Sharon Roullins 5 years, 1 month ago

I work at the library and I have seen my share of patrons that use the restroom and DO NOT WASH THEIR HANDS! Aside from the obvious, if there is no water, where would the employees use the restroom. I was disappointed that I had to leave early but I'm sure I can make up my time missed later. There will be more than enough books to check-in.

imastinker 5 years, 1 month ago

Why not just shut down the restroom? I can see why that would be bad. They could put a sign on the front door warning people that a restroom might not be available and let them decide whether to come in.

Sharon Roullins 5 years, 1 month ago

Signs were intially placed on all the restrooms before the decision was made to close and again, I am sure Mr Flanders had a tough decision to make, knowing that since other businesses were affected by the water being shut off, there were no business close by to accomodate my co-workers that would have to take a bathroom break.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago


this is a preemptive warning for liberal Starbucks with their terrible coffee! yuck.

and CSC, they're just colateral damage, but S&M's ice cream is better I think...

Bruce Flanders is a great guy and he made the right choice here. besides the needs of the staff, I wonder if lack of water would've run risk of a lawsuit from some litigious soul who couldn't use the bathroom. plus, don't they have a fire protection sprinkler system relies on water?

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