Northampton water main break shuts State Street

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  • Keith Snape, with the Northampton DPW Water Division, repositions a pump hose draining the area of a water main break on State Street on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. With temperatures only climbing out of the single digits by late morning, the DPW crew worked to pinpoint the source of the leak in a section of State between Elm and Center Streets. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A crew from the Northampton DPW Water Division works on a line break on State Street between Center and Elm streets on Friday morning, Jan. 21, 2022. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A crew from the Northampton DPW works on a line break on State Street between Main and Center streets on Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 1/21/2022 10:33:38 PM
Modified: 1/21/2022 10:32:33 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Public works crews spent all day Friday repairing a downtown water main break that left businesses and residents without water and forced drivers to find alternate routes.

Shortly before 8 a.m., a 10-inch water main broke on State Street between Main and Center streets. The Police Department closed the stretch of road while repairs were underway.

Donna LaScaleia, director of the Department of Public Works, said water service was “interrupted for customers on that block.” Water customers in the area include businesses Fly By Night and State Street Fruit Store, Edwards Church, and several offices and condos.

“DPW is working as quickly as possible to restore service, and we expect the situation to be resolved this evening,” LaScaleia said in the afternoon.

Sam Stauder, operations manager of the Fly By Night furniture store at 21 State St., said the break had a “fairly big” impact on the business. The break occurred about two hours before Fly By Night opened.

“The street’s blocked off, so people can’t actually park in our parking lot. It’s cut down on store traffic a lot,” Stauder said. “We’re still a traditional furniture store that wants you to come in and sit on the furniture,” and the break “doesn’t really help.”

Rick Starke, a manager in State Street Fruit Store’s liquor department, said it’s hard to tell if the break affected business because January is a slow month. Given the bitter cold temperatures on Friday, foot traffic was not expected to be heavy.

Either way, Starke said, “I can tell you not having functional bathrooms sucks.”

Wendell Padilla, a chef at India House restaurant, said at 3:30 p.m. that “it’s 50-50 whether we’re going to open tonight” because, an hour before the start of dinner service, there was still no water. The restaurant at 45 State St. is just steps away from the site of the break.

“What we might do, if push comes to shove, is we’ll close the front and do takeout,” Padilla said. “We’ll keep pushing and do what we gotta do.”


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