Downtown Edmonton water main break floods businesses: ‘It’s madness’

Maca Halal Meat & Wholesale was one of the businesses flooded after a water main broke on 106 Avenue between 105 and 106 streets in downtown Edmonton on Thursday, September 5, 2019.
Maca Halal Meat & Wholesale was one of the businesses flooded after a water main broke on 106 Avenue between 105 and 106 streets in downtown Edmonton on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

A number of businesses near downtown Edmonton suffered major damage following an overnight water main break Thursday.

It happened shortly after midnight on 106 Avenue between 105 and 106 streets, just north of MacEwan University.

The water main break caused damage to the street, as well as several nearby businesses, including African Safari Restaurant and Maca Halal Meat & Wholesale.

READ MORE: Water main break damages south Edmonton businesses

Salman Warsame’s father owns the businesses affected and received a call about the water main break.

“Basically what happened was, the main water line in the street broke — exploded!” Warsame explained while standing outside the water-logged businesses.

He said water shot into the air and onto the roof of the building.

“Then the whole building just got flooded.”

Water main break Sept 5 2019 d
African Safari Restaurant was one of the businesses flooded after a water main broke on 106 Avenue between 105 and 106 streets in downtown Edmonton on Thursday, September 5, 2019.
Water main break Sept 5 2019 f
African Safari Restaurant was one of the businesses flooded after a water main broke on 106 Avenue between 105 and 106 streets in downtown Edmonton on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

He arrived to see emergency crews trying to deal with the mess.

“It was madness! There was EPCOR, firefighters, there were police earlier. Water’s gushing everywhere and these guys are running around,” he said, gesturing to EPCOR employees.

Inside the building, water poured through the ceiling, pooling on the floor and damaging equipment. Inside the meat shop, the dropped ceiling also collapsed.

“Water was going for like, a good hour. And it was not like, a little bit of water — this was like, gallons on gallons just flowing.”

Water main break Sept 5 2019 c
Maca Halal Meat & Wholesale was one of the businesses flooded after a water main broke on 106 Avenue between 105 and 106 streets in downtown Edmonton on Thursday, September 5, 2019.
Water main break Sept 5 2019 b
Maca Halal Meat & Wholesale was one of the businesses flooded after a water main broke on 106 Avenue between 105 and 106 streets in downtown Edmonton on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Warsame said there has been construction in the area for several months, to the frustration of business owners, and the water main break is another headache.

“It’s a long time and they do it every damn year and it affects business,” he said, adding they have been in operation for about 14 years. “Now look at it — it’s flooded! It’s madness.”

Warsame’s father said they will be in touch with their insurance provider to figure out where to go from here.

It’s not yet known what caused the water main to rupture. Global News has reached out to EPCOR and Edmonton Fire Rescue for more information.

EPCOR crews were also dealing with a large power outage hours earlier, which left much of northeast Edmonton in the dark Wednesday night. The power was restored around 11:30 p.m.

READ MORE: EPCOR responds to large power outage in northeast Edmonton Wednesday night

Source: Global News Canada

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