Water breaks affect hundreds, force school closures

It was “double your trouble” for Big Spring residents and city work crews alike Thursday, as two major water transmission lines broke, leaving many residences and businesses without water and forcing local schools to dismiss classes early.The first water break occurred on 10th Street next to Big Spring High School when a 20-inch line ruptured at approximately 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Roughly six hours later, another 20-inch line, this one located at Eighth and Baylor, broke as well.The pressure release caused by the breaks were sudden and intense, said Interim Public Works Director Johnny Womack.“The (line break) over on Baylor blew out a hole bigger than my car,” Womack said. “And the break (near the high school) was shooting water up more than 20 feet in the air.”As a result of the breaks, residences and businesses in the surrounding areas were without water, and City Manager Todd Darden issued a temporary ban on all non-essential water usages for all city water customers.Three Big Spring campuses directly effected by the breaks — Moss and Washington elementaries and the high school — immediately cancelled classes Thursday and all Big Spring Independent School District schools dismissed students at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.Also, Howard College officials — citing little or no water pressure — closed the Birdwell Lane campus at noon Thursday.Womack said he felt safe predicting normal water service would be restored by Friday morning.