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Water Leak Leaves Oxford Residents Dry

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OXFORD — A water main break in Oxford, Tuesday, drained the town's entire 600,000 gallon supply.

Crews spent all night Tuesday trying to find the break, then all of Wednesday morning trying to figure out how to cut off the flow to the broken line.

The leak was capped Wednesday morning, and water was re-routed around the break area.

"We have stirred up a lot of sediment in the pipes, and until we can flush that out by opening up our fire hydrants, we will still be under the mandatory water boil until further notice by the state," said Oxford City Manager Tommy Marrow.

Wednesday, officials opened the fire hydrants, but it did not help the slow flow at homes and businesses like the local McDonald's.

"We're serving soda out of bottles," explained business owner Andrea Endrusick. "The crew is great. We've all rallied. It's been a little difficult. We haven't found out how we are going to do the dishes yet, but when the water gets here, we'll see what we can do."

They had to make do at places like E.E. Toney Rest Home. Wednesday afternoon, the water flowed there, but it flowed murky.

"You can wash your hands, but you have to take your time doing that," said business manager Bonna Hosch. "As far as the other things, what we needed for our cooking, what we needed for the bathrooms, we did have enough time to prepare for that. We've got big vats of water we can use for that."

The Health Department urged a number of businesses to close. Schools were closed for a second day Thursday, but will be open again Friday. A mandatory boil order was lifted at 2 p.m. Thursday. Reporter:Mark RobertsPhotographer:Ed Wilson,John Clark