Flooding closes Whitehorse local food market
Farmer Robert's store has cracked concrete and water damage, after city water main bursts
A Whitehorse local food market will close for a while due to flooding damage.
Farmer Robert's was damaged on the evening of Feb. 13 when a city water main broke underneath Waterfront Place, a street off Quartz Road.
Robert Ryan — a local farmer and the business owner— said he got a call from a friend overnight saying there was water gushing from inside the business.
Ryan said he arrived to find the concrete floor raised and cracked to the point that he couldn't open the front door.
"The pressure of the water lifted the concrete, inside and outside and it flooded the store," Ryan said.
Ryan said the pressure damage has yet to be assessed.
The concrete appears to have cracked and risen by about 20 centimetres in some places, and there's also an open hole beneath the store which was eroded by the water, he said.
'It seems like the foundation there has actually moved'
On Wednesday, one corner of the store was flooded with about three centimetres of water. Ryan said some floor tiles also cracked due to rising water.
But the store's cafe corner was the most affected and "it seems like the foundation there has actually moved," Ryan said.
He is now dealing with insurance claims and said the business will have to close for the short term.
"I am waiting for city inspectors to say the building is safe so we can clean up and reopen," he said.
The building still has power which means the refrigerators are still humming. However Ryan is not sure what will happen to the fresh goods.
Workers dig through frozen ground
City of Whitehorse crews were on site today beginning repairs to the water main. No other businesses on the street have reported damage.
Geoff Quinsey, who is manager of the city's water and waste services, said the problem appears to have started about three-and-a-half metres underground, at a pipe that connects the water main to a fire hydrant.
Quinsey said the juncture "has a number of mechanical components," and city crews will investigate the parts to find fault.
"Whereas the pipe is relatively structurally consistent, there are a whole bunch of bolts and joints that happen at a hydrant assembly so there's a number of potential places where a failure can start and propagate," he said.
Quinsey said the water followed the path of least resistance. Blocked by frozen ground, it emerged through the ground which was thawed under the store.
Traffic will be redirected on Waterfront Place tomorrow as crews continue to work on the repairs.
Cracked concrete is one problem at Farmer Robert’s grocery, after a broken water main in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Whitehorse?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Whitehorse</a>. Owner Robert Ryan showed me the damage <a href="https://t.co/OYS5R7iUnI">pic.twitter.com/OYS5R7iUnI</a>—@YukonPhilippe