Gallery photographs worth $28,000 damaged in Main Street water line break

A water main break sent water rushing by the 501 on Main restaurant, left, and the McMillen Fine Art Photography next door on Thursday night. Both suffered damage but were open on Friday.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

The water main break on Thursday night that sent water rushing onto Main Street damaged at least two businesses even as emergency crews worked quickly in an attempt to block the fast-moving flow from pouring into the buildings.

The two businesses that are known to have suffered damage are McMillen Fine Art Photography and the restaurant 501 on Main. They are next to each other on the west side of Main Street and are closest to the point where the water, moving quickly from Park Avenue down Trapper’s Way, reached Main Street.

Jared McMillen, the photography gallery owner, said water poured into a storage room. Three photographs in that room were damaged, he said. The three have a combined retail value of $28,000, McMillen said.

“It’s mostly just a mess we need to clean up,” he said.

McMillen said emergency dispatchers contacted him Thursday night requesting he respond to Main Street. He reached the gallery within 25 minutes after the call from the dispatchers. McMillen saw rocks and debris outside the gallery as the water continued to flow.

“It was kind of bizarre, for sure, to have that kind of water running down the street,” he said.

McMillen said the storage room is outfitted with a drain in the floor. Much of the water left through the drain, he said, explaining that without the drain the damage would have been “catastrophic.”

McMillen Fine Art Photography opened for regular hours on Friday.

The damage at 501 on Main was not as serious as what occurred at the gallery storage room. Paul Marsh, the 501 on Main owner, credited the emergency responders for their work in protecting the businesses from the water. He said he was “very impressed.”

“We ended up with minimal damage based upon the effort” of the emergency responders, he said.

Marsh said the Police Department contacted him about the water main break. He arrived at the restaurant to find up to two feet of water outside the building. There was no damage inside, he said.

“We have a mess to clean up, but no significant damage,” Marsh said.

He said 501 on Main delayed opening on Friday until water service was fully restored.

The emergency responders on Thursday night put sandbags outside businesses that were close to the location of the water flow. Many of the businesses were closed by the time of the worst of the water outflow. Some people at bars and nightclubs went outside to watch the scene unfold and snap photographs.

It was not immediately clear if other businesses suffered damage. The emergency responders deflected some of the water away from the Main Street buildings with a fire hose filled with water that acted as a diversionary tool.

It is expected to be a busy weekend on Main Street with temperatures forecasted in the 80s. The temperatures in the Salt Lake Valley could reach toward triple digits, though, something that oftentimes results in larger crowds in Park City as people in the valley escape to the higher elevations. The Park Silly Sunday Market on Sunday will likely be the biggest draw.

Cleanup crews were on Main Street Friday morning sweeping away dirt and mud that flowed downhill from Trapper’s Way. Officials anticipated the cleanup and the repairs would be completed by the middle of the week.


Skate with Santa at the Park City Ice Arena 

Santa Claus returns to the Park City Ice Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. for the annual Santa Skate! Don’t forget to bring your ski or bike helmet to wear while you’re on the ice. Complimentary skating and rentals. 

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