Busted water main: ‘There will be a lot more before [cold snap] is over’

A busted water main on Koch Avenue in Vandalia on Tuesday night is just the start of that particular problem because of the cold snap that has hit the region, Vandalia Public Works supervisor Steve Nickels said.

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He and his crew were called just after 6 p.m. on a report of a water main break. Nickels and crew were on the job within minutes and were working quickly to get out of the bristling cold.

"There will be a lot more before this cold spell is over," Nickels said. Sure enough, a smaller water main break was reported not long after the Koch Avenue problem, a few blocks east, on Ranch View Court in Vandalia.

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His advice: If you don't need to be out in the cold, stay home.

"You put everything on you can," Nickels said, explaining what he and his crew do to battle the elements. "After going so many years, you just get used to it."

Shifting ground, because of the cold, causes old cast iron mains to break, he said.

He characterized the Koch Avenue water main break as minor. He predicted his crew would be finished in about an hour.

"It's fun for a little while," he said of the work and being out in the cold. "Then it gets old real quick."

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