IRON RIVER—Headaches caused by the harsh winter and intemperate spring just keep coming and coming.
At a special meeting of the Iron River City Council April 29, city manager Perry Franzoi reported that on the evening of Saturday, April 26, a water main broke in the alley between Third and Fourth Avenues, behind the Golden Bow.
Late last week, it was discovered that the main had suffered a 6-inch crack that was repaired by the city.
But the damage had been done. Miners State Bank, one of several businesses served by that water main, suffered ample water damage before the water was stopped between 2 and 3 p.m. on April 27.
Franzoi reported the first call from central dispatch, that water was bubbling out of the ground in the alley, came in between 7:30 and 8 p.m. on April 26. A decision was made to let the water run until Monday, April 28, when repairs would begin.
“I was told by the (Department of Public Works) foreman that normally in this situation they let the water run,” Franzoi stated.
But at around 11 a.m. on Sunday, Franzoi learned that water had entered the bank’s basement and “suffered a substantial amount of damage.” Crews were alerted, and the valve was closed between 2 and 3 p.m., but by that point there was at least 18 inches of water in the basement, Franzoi said.
The water had damaged the computer system and soaked the basement carpet and drywall, among other damages.
When asked to clarify the damage suffered, Miners State Bank officials declined to comment. FA Industrial Services was brought in to clean up the mess.
“In talking with (FA), apparently what happened is that where the cable came through the wall for the fiber optics and all the other stuff, the patch let go,” Franzoi told the council at the special meeting. “So the water that was running down the side of the wall infiltrated that hole, and that’s how the water got in there.”
The DPW performed an emergency Miss Dig and marked out the area to be dug up. It was unclear at the time where the break was exactly.
“I thought originally that it might have been a service line from Martin (Accounting), because the two service lines for Martin’s and Polich (Law Offices) are the ones that have been frozen,” Franzoi noted. “It would make sense that now that the frost is coming out of the ground, they would pop.”
It turned out to the 4-inch main line had suffered a crack that caused the entire scenario.
Franzoi said the city has $20,000 in the upcoming budget, in part, to repair the pipe. Whether the city will have to pay for the entire repair is not known yet.
Shortly after Franzoi’s statement, the council went into an executive session.