Reporting Derek Valcourt
FORRESTVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Severe mandatory water restrictions remain in effect in parts of Prince George’s County–where crews are working to replace a massive water main threatening to bust open.
Derek Valcourt explains–water crews were able to avert a more serious crisis.
At first, nearly 200,000 people were told they would have no water at all for the next few days. Now they”ll havewater, it will just be limited.
As fast as it comes into stores, water is going out.
“Everybody’s getting that water. We’re getting prepared,” a woman said.
Store shelves–near barren as tens of thousands in southern Prince George’s County deal with the effects from this–a massive below ground water main that sensors detected would imminently burst.
Officials predicted faucets would run dry during the lengthy repairs on the nearly 50-year-old underground pipe.
A 54-inch replacement pipe is just sitting at the constructions site, waiting to be installed.
Wednesday, utility crews opened a previous frozen valve, allowing water to be diverted around the damaged main, avoiding a total water shutoff.
“There will not be a water shortage as long as everyone continues to abide by the mandatory water restrictions,” said Lyn Riggins, WSSC spokesperson.
But those water restrictions–including shorter showers, flushing toilets less and eliminating outdoor water use–have already financially hit hard at many businesses and restaurants forced to closed their doors.
Many hotels–suffering as their guests flee.
“It’s time to go. I had another day scheduled, but rather than go and be moved to another place, I’d rather just get out of here and go back to Mississippi,” said Frank Sutton, visitor.
The restrictions remain in place until the repairs can be completed.
And those repairs could take several more days.
During the water restrictions, fire departments in the affected area have taken extra precautions in case they need to battle a fire.