Waterworks break at Snow Creek Plaza prompts emergency response (updated)
A major waterworks break occurred Tuesday afternoon at Snow Creek Plaza, filling sections of the parking lot with water that was knee deep in some places and requiring a major City Hall emergency response.
The Park City Police Department, the Park City Fire District, pumping trucks and heavy machinery were at the scene at 2 p.m. In one location abutting a grassy berm, the water appeared to be knee deep and drew the attention of a pumping truck. Heavy machinery, meanwhile, was seen clearing mud, rocks and other debris from the parking lot.
The water and mud stretched from the state liquor store to The Market at Park City on one side of the lot, and in another part of the lot, the water reached a depth that covered half the tires of a parked vehicle.
City Hall said in an online posting a water line on Boot Hill, described as a major one, was “compromised,” sending the water to Snow Creek. Boot Hill is located immediately north of Snow Creek. The online posting indicated the crews were replacing pipe at the time of the break.
Another online posting from City Hall said the break did not threaten the municipal water supply or the ability to respond to a fire.
The water entered some of the businesses at Snow Creek Plaza, and the responders placed sandbags outside at least one business.
“It was like a big river,” said Maika Taylor, the owner of the Beauty Zone salon. “It was moving pretty fast, filling up really fast.”
She said water was entering cars and the flooding behind the salon was ankle deep. Some clients canceled appointments as a result of them not being able to reach the salon. Customers inside could not reach their cars. Salon staffers used brooms, trying to keep the mud and water from entering. The water came close to the front door, where towels had been placed to stop the flow.
At The Market at Park City, manager Rush Hotchkiss said a small amount of water entered the store through an emergency exit and the door to the deli. Staffers quickly blocked the water with towels, plastic liners and bags of road salt. He said about 2 feet of water collected outside behind the store. There was no impact on shoppers.
“It’s a huge mess,” he said. “It’s a lot of mud.
Clint McAffee, the public utilities director at City Hall, said a concrete block that holds a fitting together on the existing pipe shifted during the digging for the new pipe. That caused the fitting to dislodge from the pipe, he said, describing that the pipe at that point was “wide open.” The water then flowed out. There is not a valve available to stop a flow like the one on Tuesday since the fitting is so close to the tank itself.
There are two water tanks at Boot Hill. McAffee said the crews that responded isolated the larger one and let the smaller one drain. He said 1 million gallons of water was lost.
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A member of the Park City Council on Thursday remained especially concerned about the continued spread of the novel coronavirus. City councilor Steve Joyce delivered some of the notable comments during a meeting between Park City’s elected officials and Phil Bondurant, who is the Summit County health director.