Schools, businesses closed after Houston water main break
HOUSTON (AP) — Schools and some businesses in Houston remained closed Friday and a boil order was in effect for most of the city a day after a water pipe ruptured and flooded a highway in the nation’s fourth-largest city.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said Friday afternoon that he expects the boil order will be lifted by Saturday morning. He said that by that time the results from water samples will be ready and there’s been no evidence so far that the water is unsafe.
The 35-year-old water main burst Thursday as a contractor was trying to repair a leak in the line from a plant that supplies water to about half of the city, officials said.
Flash flooding from the break submerged vehicles on an eastern section of Loop 610, a highway that circles the city. No one was injured and the highway reopened early Friday.
All Harris County courts were closed Friday because of the water main break. Houston’s school district said its schools would be closed Friday so that workers could make sure the facilities were functioning properly.
Some medical facilities were also affected, the Harris Health System said it closed many of its outpatient clinics and some hospital services Friday because of water concerns. County officials said that while hospitals remained open, certain functions could be affected due to the boil order.
Turner, who said the break was an example of the need for infrastructure improvements, said the water pressure had returned to normal by Thursday evening. The ruptured pipe was isolated on both ends and water was rerouted.
Turner said crews would be working through the weekend to repair the line and they expect water will be flowing through the line again by Tuesday.