Major NA water leaks found, TVA power in good shape

Mayor Tim Kent talks with light, gas and water manager Bill Mattox about major water leaks. The mayor and a skeleton staff were at City Hall Wednesday overseeing emergency operations.
February 17th, 2021     Featured News General News

New Albany Light, Gas and Water Manager Bill Mattox said they think they found the source of significant water flow on the west side of town shortly after noon Wednesday.

Metering devices had monitored unusually heavy flows indicating one or more serious breaks in a line. Officials were concerned that it might be a major underground or other break.

He said a building at the former Mohasco factory site and the former Goody’s store near Wal-Mart each had suffered from burst pipes. The Goody’s leak apparently just happened Wednesday morning while the Mohasco problem could have been going on since yesterday.

Mattox said such problems occur when buildings are not heated, but still must maintain fire protection and it is often the sprinkler systems that fail in cold weather.

With several more days before temperatures rise above freezing for a significant amount of time, Mattox just urged people to maintain heating in structures with active water lines and allow faucets to drip slightly to prevent freezing.

He cautioned that more leaks probably will be discovered as temperatures rise and the ice in burst pipes melts, so people should be on the lookout for that.

Mattox added that there have been no alerts concerning electric power, which is provided to this area from TVA. Although South Mississippi has been experiencing some problems, he said our electric power reserves should be good through the unusually cold weather and we should see no blackouts or major interruptions.

As of early afternoon Wednesday, weather forecasts indicated Union County might see more snow than freezing rain, reducing the likelihood of downed power lines.

Mayor Tim Kent said city offices will remain closed Thursday and there may be no city garbage pickup for the rest of the week.

He said that even if the regional landfill reopens Friday, side streets may still be too icy for the garbage trucks to travel on safely.

Kent said most major city streets have at least one lane clear. He said crews had been spreading de-icing chemicals on the streets but quit because the melted sleet simply refroze an hour later, sometimes making driving conditions worse.

The city has been using a road grader and front-end loader to clear some ice, but while the blades scrape off the top layer of frozen sleet, a layer of slick ice still remains. Kent again urged people to stay off the streets, especially with some form of precipitation expected to hit our area late this afternoon.

Updates on the garbage pickup and closings will be given each day.

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