Oft times we hear folks complaining that government ought to be run more like a business. Well, yesterday we saw how that isn't always true. It's easy enough to complain about the foibles of government, as I have many times. It's only fair to acknowledge when government shines at what only it can do.
Yesterday a large water main broke catastrophically on Donovan Avenue. A section of 16 inch ductile iron pipe inexplicably cracked along its entire length. Within moments, a fountain erupted from the ground and a substantial river was running west to the FEMA floodplain in the vicinity of 24th and Donovan, where it flooded an unknown number of houses. This main is supplied from the water tower at the top of Yew Street Road, so there is a LOT of pressure on this line, capable of delivering a LOT of water, which it did.
City crews were quickly on the scene, shutting off valves (which can be persnickety after being open many years), arriving with equipment and materials - including porta-potties and bottled water for residents.
They obviously had a contingency plan and were fully prepared. It might have taken a business a few days just to get the necessary supplies and come up with a plan. City crews got busy, worked through the night and had the water restored before folks woke up. This morning, a skeleton crew was washing down the mud and vacuuming it out of storm drain catchments to keep it out of the creek. A business might have skipped some of that.
All in all, it was an impressive emergency response. Kudos to Public Works for a competent job well done.