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Crews evaluating road damage after water main break

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A one-block stretch of Yakima Avenue remains closed in the aftermath of this weekend's massive water main break.

It's not clear when it will reopen to traffic. Crews are still evaluating the damage. Some businesses are trying to recover.

Two inches of water flooded the Vida Rug and Home Gallery. It's one of several businesses along Yakima Avenue hit by the water main break.

"It's been a lot of extra work that we didn't anticipate and not looking forward to," said Vida Rug and Home Gallery Akbar Rezaie.

Akbar Rezaie says his store will be closed for at least a week. He says his merchandise sustained $20,000 worth of water damage.

There's at least two dozen of these fans used to dry the water on the floor and the walls. And, if you take a look at this bucket, you can see how much water has accumulated from the dehumidifier.

Crews stopped the water from doing any more damage. But, managers don't know what caused the line to rupture.

"Was it metal fatigue? Was it the ground shifted? It's hard to say," said Dave Brown.

Water Irrigation Manager Dave Brown says the cast iron pipe that broke was almost a hundred years old. And, 150,000 gallons of water was lost.

Yakima plans to address the aging water system. Crews will replace other old pipes on North First Street as part of the revitalization project. Work will continue over the next five years. Engineers will prioritize the pipes to replace every year. Most of the work will be done Downtown.

Brown downplays any long-term problems with the system.

"It's in pretty good shape I think but it does need attention and we've got to stay on top of it or we will be in hurting shape," said Brown.

"Businesses are dealing with tough situations anyway in this economic climate," said Rezaie. "Having this added to it, it just adds more pressure."

Yakima's Water Irrigation Manager says this is the third water main break in the city this year.

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