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Tulsa neighborhoods without water service from main breaks

Water main break
Posted at 10:06 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 10:19:19-05

TULSA, Okla. — About 1,600 Tulsans were still without water Thursday night.

A vulnerable water line underneath 21st Street in Tulsa is the source of several breaks.

“I looked right outside my window and sure enough, there’s a river going down the street," Billy Barrantes said.

Barrantes lives at an apartment complex near 21st Street and Cincinnati Avenue. A local main line broke next to his home for the second time this week.

"I hope they can repair it soon," Barrantes said. "I have to work tomorrow."

The old, cast-iron 16-inch water line has several pressurized break points from downtown Tulsa out east. The City of Tulsa's water main break map shows a handful along line just from Yale Avenue to Sheridan Road.

"We're hoping to really make a dent on some of these water line breaks that are out there," said Josh Bilby, utility systems operation manager with the City of Tulsa.

City officials reported 258 active water main breaks in Tulsa Thursday night and 28 crews worked to repair 92 of them.

The road to full repair is a long one for city crews. That road could be just as long for Barrantes and his neighbors.

"We don't have any updates or a real timeline of when we're going to get our water back," Barrantes said.

City officials replaced a section of the 21st Street line from Peoria Avenue to Detroit Avenue. after a large water main break in the area in 2018. They said the newer stretches of the line are holding up against the freezing cold.

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