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Broken valve causes major weekend flooding on DTSB street

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A major block of Colfax Avenue reopened Monday after flooding caused the street to close over the weekend. On Friday night, Public Works Director Eric Horvath said water poured onto Colfax between Michigan and Main Streets.

“It was four-inch line that goes to serve one of our customers, the valve itself had broken,” noted Horvath. “The top of the valve, the bolts just corroded and popped off. And that just created the water issue.”

Until the issue was fixed, water had to be shut off for businesses on the block through midday Saturday. A boil advisory was also issued. Fatbird opened later in the day Saturday and closed earlier on Sunday, forcing the restaurant to miss out on big business for the home game weekend.

“Downtown game day weekends are some of the biggest weekends we have, so losing any portion of it is significant on our, on our bottom line for sure,” remarked Tim Tinker, co-owner of Fatbird.

The boil advisory meant the restaurant had to go to extra lengths.

“We actually had to go to the store and get Coke, Diet Coke, all the drinks - tonic water, soda water - had to go buy ice to fill all the bins to make sure we were not using contaminated, contaminated water,” Tinker said.

The valve that broke ironically was for the line that serves the city’s water utility billing office.

“You’re at the mercy of the system sometimes, and we’ll do our best to make sure we get them fixed as quickly as we can,” Horvath said.

Fatbird was back to business on Monday.

“We’re able to get back to using all of our equipment the way we would normally plan to use it,” Tinker said.

Part of Colfax Avenue still needs to patched where the valve box is exposed. The street is open, but traffic is restricted on Colfax through at least Friday.

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