Philly officials apologize to businesses still hobbled by July water main break

Pat Loeb
November 05, 2018 - 3:41 pm
Philly officials visiting Royal Tailor and speaking with business owners at Time.

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) —  It's been four months since a massive water main broke in Center City Philadelphia, and businesses that were damaged when 15 million gallons of water flooded Sansom Street still have not recovered. Mayor Jim Kenney joined Philadelphia Water Department officials Monday for what you might call an "apology tour." 

"We're sorry the water main broke," said Kenney over and over as he stopped by the cleaners', the hair salon, the deli and the bar in the 1300 block of Sansom Street, which is still blocked off and dug up as crews from half a dozen utilities work on repairs. 

Water Commissioner Debra McCarty was happy to report the water department is done repairing the 48 inch main and two smaller ones but she figures there's at least three more months of work left.

"There's several mains for gas, Verizon is in Sansom and Juniper, AT&T, lots of PECO duct work," she said. 

RELATED: Businesses near water main break reopen, but long road of repairs ahead

McCarty says the repairs so far have cost about $2 million, but Mayor Kenney says the city also wants to help the businesses.

"We're going to do our best to help their business and grow their business when this comes down," said Kenney. 

But businesses are getting antsy. 

Kurt Darhower of Salon Ricochet says his business lost $5,000 in the last two months. 

"It's breaking me. It's breaking my spirit and I really need it to be done soon," he said.