Water main breaks flood bakery, offices across Winnipeg

A well-known North End Winnipeg business has been hit by a water main break.
A well-known North End Winnipeg business was hit by a water main break Thursday morning, one of several in the past few days. 1:35

A well-known North End Winnipeg business was hit by a water main break Thursday morning, one of several in the past few days.

​Gunn's Bakery on Selkirk Avenue has no running water, which means staff can't wash hands, can't clean pans, and can't make bread.

"I just got my feet soaked trying to get in here," said employee Sabrina LeClerc, who estimates there's about a half-foot of water outside the store.

The water main break has flooded Selkirk, which is closed from Charles Street to Main Street as a result.

"I had to park about two or three blocks away from work, walked to work, got about halfway there and said, 'Oh shoot, I am standing in about eight inches of water. Do I go back or keep going?'" said Doug Mason, a delivery driver and packer for Gunn's.

Crews work through fog and ice to battle a water main break on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg on Thursday. (Trevor Dineen/CBC)
"I kept going, came down the back lane and, old-fashioned Winnipeggers, we put two ladders on the fence and climbed over."

He added the bakery is about one to two hours behind in its deliveries this morning.

“There’s normally probably eight, nine, 10, 11 people working back here,” said Mason. “There’s nothing happening.”​

The bakery doesn't know when they'll get their running water back.

The City of Winnipeg says there were eight watermain breaks in Winnipeg Thursday alone.

This winter has seen a marked increase in the number of watermain breaks. This winter there have been close to 200 of them, compared to 175 last winter. That's well above Winnipeg's historical average of about 150 per winter.

Tache break sends water into hospital

Cars pass through a section of Tache Avenue flooded by a water main break on Thursday. (Sara Calnek/CBC)
Meanwhile, another water main break flooded Tache Avenue in front of St. Boniface Hospital.

The street hasn't been blocked to traffic but CBC News videographer Sara Calnek said the water was so deep it was submerging vehicles nearly to their bumpers.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said a small amount of water got into the basement of one of the hospital's administrative buildings and only affected staff areas.

"No patients or patient care has been affected," a spokesperson said.

Community centre fears closure after break

Across town, Abbie Bajon is struggling to co-ordinate ice times and programming at River Heights and Crescentwood Community Club.

The club is accommodating bookings from Sir John Franklin Community Club, which was shut down last week due to a nearby water main break.

“Practices are already scheduled here. We can’t accommodate moving them here,” said Abbie Bajon. “Our Sir John Franklin site is our smaller site, so for us not to have programming there and be moving things might kill that site – might kill the programming.”

Bajon said she hopes the problem will be fixed before it does permanent damage to the community club.