Water break stalls Banksville stores

Ruptured line closes businesses for part of the day

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A broken 6-inch water main created a soggy Monday morning for shops along Banksville Road.

The break was reported about 6 a.m., and service was out for a dozen businesses until 2 p.m., Pennsylvania American Water spokesman Gary Lobaugh said. The water company sent a restoration team to assist in cleanup.

Signs on the doors of some stores in the plaza -- Starbucks, Beverly Hills Salon and RadioShack -- told hopeful customers they'd be closed through Monday evening because of the water main break.

At the other end of the strip mall, Kohli's Indian Emporium and Coach's Bottleshop & Grille were spared and remained open all day Monday, workers there said.

Subway was hit hardest during lunch but reopened for dinner.

"It's a substantial loss -- substantial," manager Sean McCaffrey said of the midday rush. "My food is here, but I can't flush my toilets, I can't wash my hands" or clean knives and cutting boards.

He described how he watched in fear as water lapped onto the back door Monday morning.

"I'm standing there, watching it come under my door," he said.

About 15 minutes later, the water was shut off, and the restaurant was spared any water damage, Mr. McCaffrey said.

Kuhn's owner Joe Dentici said the night crew chief called "freaked out" about 5:45 a.m.

The rupture caused water to pour into the store loading dock area and stream into the market. Marks on the loading dock walls showed the water reached about 6 feet. Pittsburgh firefighters arrived soon after to start pumping water. Mr. Dentici said about 2 inches of water covered the floors of the 24-hour store.

The store passed an Allegheny County Health Department inspection and reopened just before noon, store treasurer Jodi Zema said. By 5 p.m., all that remained of the flooding were a few stains on the floor, store manager Randy Oakes said. No food products had been damaged.

"It looked a lot worse than it really was," Mr. Oakes said.

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede. Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc. Jon Schmitz contributed. First Published December 2, 2013 6:58 AM

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