MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Thousands of homes and dozens of businesses were without water Thursday and Friday in Moultrie. A crack in a water main caused a huge leak that drained the city's holding tanks.
Christopher Smith couldn't believe his eyes.
"It was like a river, a little baby river coming through and flooding all of this stuff. All the way down the road," he said.
And when he looked in the other direction, "we saw the work trucks down the road and when we got closer we just saw water skeeting up in the air. I've never seen it leap like that before."
What he had seen was a 16-inch water pipe at the intersection of 3rd Street and 9th Avenue, one of the largest in the City of Moultrie's water system, broken. So what happened?
According to Roger King, the Director of Utilities for the City of Moultrie: "we now know that the failure was in a duct wiring pipe, a cast iron pipe about 10 feet long. So we had to cut out a section of pipe to make the repairs and that's where the difficulties began."
The hole quickly filled up with water and because of that, the repair job proved to be impossible.
This morning: "we made the decision, which was very difficult, to shut the water system off so that the repairs could be made," said King
And the result was a day without water for the city of about 17,000. At the elementary school, administrators were handing out bottled water and in houses, sinks were gurgling, instead of gushing.
So the biggest question on the minds of the people of Moultrie is, when will the water be back on?
"Well, they're of course putting all of the pieces back together at this point," said King.
City officials are hoping that it will be sometime Friday, but even after it comes on, it will take some time to get back up to normal.
"When we bring the wells back online, we can't put them all on at once because that would cause other problems. We're going to have some air in the lines, we'll have some rust. We're going to have some difficulties for a couple of days probably," said King
So customers will have to have a little patience. Moultire is hoping to soon have the water flowing again.
There is a possibility that water that is coming from the city system is contaminated, so if you have water, you should boil it just to be safe.
The city of Moultrie has a lot of information available on its website.