UPDATE: Shortly before 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, authorities reported that water had been restored to Downtown and Old Towne Petersburg. Businesses and residents in the area were advised to boil all drinking water until further notice.
PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Crews with the City of Petersburg are currently working to repair a significant water line break in the city’s downtown area.
The break occurred around 12 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1, and was located at the intersection of Bank Street and North Sycamore Street.
“Public Works crews have been on the scene since then, working until after 10 p.m.,” a spokesperson for the City said. “They will return early Monday morning to continue repairs and restore water to the area.”
A number of buildings in the areas of Downtown and Old Towne were reportedly left without water — or with very low water pressure — as a result of the break. Frank Takacs, the owner of Longstreet Delicatessen, had to close his restaurant right after the incident happened and says it isn’t surprising.
“It shows you that the infrastructure here is very fragile,” Takacs said. “I think shows you the lack of investment, not just here, but almost all the cities… There’s been a big neglect.”
Like other small businesses in the area, Longstreet Delicatessen depends on being open every day.
“Dishwashing and sanitation become a big issue,” Takacs explained. “So, we had no choice but to close down, unfortunately.”
Takacs said the water line break not only affects the flow of his business but also the staff who depend on the job.
“We had to tell them not to come in today. So, we’re hoping that it comes back on Tuesday morning so we can at least finish out that week. But I’m not sure it looks kind of iffy,” Takacs said.
According to authorities, the following buildings were closed on Monday to ensure the safety of City employees and residents:
- City Hall
- City Hall Annex
- Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
- Circuit Court
“Employees from these departments are urged to work from home until the situation is resolved,” a City spokesperson said. “However, services at the General District Court, JDR Court, and the Police Station will continue as usual, as these buildings have access to water.”
In an announcement Monday evening, the City of Petersburg said crews were expected to work late into the evening, it was unknown whether City buildings in the area would be open Tuesday.
“The City of Petersburg Public Works staff and contractors continue to work to repair several water line breaks at the intersection of Bank and N. Sycamore Streets,” the City announced. “As a result, crews are expected to work on the repairs until midnight or possibly later.”
Anyone interested in finding more information related to water usage in the City of Petersburg can call 804-733-2407.
This article was written using additional reporting by 8News reporter Madison Moore.