Winnipeg crews clean up after huge water main break in St. James

Two roads in the St. James neighbourhood in Winnipeg are temporarily closed as crews clean up after a massive water main break flooded a number of streets Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

Parts of St. Matthews Avenue and Berry Street remain closed to traffic

Two roads in the St. James neighbourhood in Winnipeg are temporarily closed as crews clean up after a massive water main break flooded a number of streets late Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

The break flooded at least eight square blocks in an area between St. Matthews Avenue and Silver Avenue shortly before 11 p.m. Monday.

St. Matthews Avenue between Berry and King Edward streets remain closed to traffic on Tuesday afternoon, as is Berry Street between St. Matthews and Silver avenues.

The eastbound lanes of St. Matthews Avenue are also closed between Roseberry and Parkview streets while the water main is being repaired, the city said in a news release.

City of Winnipeg crews are cleaning up piles of ice and pools of water left behind on Tuesday from a massive water main break that happened overnight in the St. James neighbourhood. 0:59

The water was more than half a metre deep in some places. Side streets were also flooded.

A City of Winnipeg spokesperson told CBC News that no homes were affected, as the flooded area is commercial.

The city said crews are working as quickly as possible to fix the water main, as well as sand and scrape the flooded streets and open the affected lanes to traffic.

One commercial customer that is without water is having water delivered, the city added.

People living in the area may notice discoloured water flowing from their taps as a result of the water main break. The city said residents who do have brown water should do the following:

  • Turn on a cold water tap, ideally a bathtub tap, and let the water run for a few minutes.
  • Catch some of the water in a light-coloured cup. If the water isn't clear, turn off the tap, wait 30 minutes and try again.
  • Call 311 if the water remains discoloured after waiting two or three hours.

St. Matthews slated for renewal, says councillor

St. James-Brooklands-Weston Coun. Scott Gillingham, whose ward includes the flooded area, said St. Matthews Avenue is slated to undergo infrastructure renewal in the near future.

"This piece of St. Matthews from Route 90 west over to Ferry Road is due to be redone, whether it's the street or the sidewalks or as we can see, perhaps, you know, the water mains underground as well," he said.

The water main break is an example of what can happen to roads and other infrastructure in older neighbourhoods, Gillingham said.

"That's why, you know, I was glad that in 2015 we put a record amount of money into infrastructure, and we need to continue to prioritize infrastructure," Gillingham said.

"We've got mature neighbourhoods, like St. James, where the infrastructure is old and needs to be renewed."


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