PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) -
The city of Petersburg is completing repairs while thousands of residents continue to go without water service. Though repairs are complete, the public system is still unsafe and anyone using it should continue to boil the water first for the next 24 hours or 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Initially, the water main break at the intersection of South Crater Road and Morton Avenue impacted only the eastern part of the city, from South Sycamore Street and North Boulevard to the Prince George County border. By Monday evening, that area had expanded: residents all over the city were asked to boil their water, especially if they noticed low water pressure.
Crews worked throughout the day to repair the 16-inch main water line. While the work was expected to be completed by 10 p.m. Monday, officials said later in the day that it could be as late at 1 a.m. Tuesday before the issue is resolved.
Shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, the Petersburg Department of Public Works released the following statement: "The Petersburg Department of Public Works, along with two contracting firms continue repair work this morning on the water main break near the intersection of South Crater Road and Morton Avenue. Crews are continuing to have challenges repairing the 1944 water pipe. It is anticipated that a temporary fix will be completed this morning."
Southside Regional Medical Center was one of the businesses impacted by the water main break. A spokesperson told ABC 8News that they had to bring in extra water, so patients would have what they needed. Still, the facility was able to keep functioning.
"Basically, we had a day that was pretty much a normal day. We completed 95 percent of our surgery that was scheduled and our emergency room is fully operational," said Terry Tysinger of Southside Regional Medical Center.
Water is being supplied to homes and businesses in the city from two large holding tanks, one located at the former Walnut Mall site and the other off County Drive.
On Tuesday morning, free bottles of water will be handed out at the Food Lion at 2120 S. Crater Road. A release from the City of Petersburg reads: "The City of Petersburg is partnering with Food Lion to distribute free water to residents experiencing low water pressure beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Two gallons of water will be given to each family. The water will be distributed at the Food Lion store located at 2120 S. Crater Road while supplies last. Please note the free water is only available at this location."
Residents and businesses with questions about water usage should call 804-733-2349.