Local News

Ripples from the water main rupture

Sitkans flocked to grocery stores to buy water when the water main broke Wednesday night. (KCAW News)

Sitkans flocked to grocery stores to buy water when the water main broke Wednesday night.

For most Sitkans, Wednesday’s water main break was repaired before it affected more than their evening shower and morning coffee. But the uncertainty was enough to cause some ripples.

Hear iFriendly audio

So, what do you do when you hear your town has just 12 hours of water left? For Sitka resident Justin Olbrych, the answer was: fill up the bathtub. In fact, fill both bathtubs.

“And I was thinking, everybody’s filling up bathtubs,” Olbrych said. “And I was thinking, we’re gonna use up that water pretty quickly, probably.”

Other Sitkans headed straight to the store.

“From 8:30 til about 9:30, all the water in the store was gone,” said Ian Fritz, a supervisor at AC Lakeside grocery store. “Once all the water was gone, I was like, ice. Get some ice, put it in a bucket, it’ll melt, you’ve got yourself some water right there.”

Sitka’s Sea Mart grocery store also saw a run on water.

“Interestingly enough, we also sold a tremendous amount of water containers,” said Max Rule, hief Financial Officer at the parent company that owns Sitka’s Sea Mart and Market Center grocery stores. “So I‘d imagine folks were probably taking those containers and filling them up from the tap and getting stockpiled for the evening.”

The rush was intense enough that Rule decided to set some water aside.

“I was concerned that if we got into a situation where the community ran out of water,” Rule said. “And perhaps the pioneer’s home or the hospital or someone needed some pure water, that we would be able to provide that for them, so I pulled back about a pallet of water.”

For Jessica Machay, a manager at the Larkspur Café, the problem wasn’t so much the flow of water as the flow of information.

“There’s not a really good place to find out information online,”
said Machaey. “That’s sort of frustrating.”

The Larkspur normally opens at 8am, but by 7:30 Thursday, the staff still weren’t sure about the water situation. The café stayed closed until lunchtime.

There was one group of people who weren’t pleased when the water returned. Sitka High School students Lucky Miguel and Kaycie Coleman were eating lunch with friends at the backdoor café. And they said they would gladly have taken a few hours without water if it had meant a day off from school.

 

Recent News

Senate candidate Sullivan talks health care — and dolphins

OUTTRO: DaRepublican Dan Sullivan, with his wife Julie Fate Sullivan. Sullivan hopes to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Begich. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz) n Sullivan is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. The primary will be held on August 19. The General Election will be November 4.
Sullivan, the former Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, is hoping to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Begich, who is up for reelection this fall. He talked about his role in challenging the President’s healthcare law, the perils of over-regulation – and that time he swam against the Navy’s military dolphins. more

Are you a member?

question-mark-112864_640
Raven Radio and the services provided by the staff, board and volunteers are made possible by our members. We rely on financial support from everyone who utilizes our services by listening, interacting on our Facebook page, streaming from afar or following us at kcaw.org. You utilize our services and we rely on your support. Are you a member of Raven Radio? more