HURRICANE FLORENCE: CFPUA says major water main is protected

View The Original Article Here

Large pipe that supplies most of Wilmington’s water runs along US 421, where road has been washed out

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) officials made emergency repairs in Saturday’s overnight hours around a water main that supplies about two-thirds of Wilmington’s drinking water.

Floodwaters on U.S. 421 washed out a section of the road near the New Hanover-Pender county line, eroding the road’s shoulder and exposing part of the pipe. CFPUA staff worked until 3:30 a.m. Saturday to fill the area around the pipe with material, helping prevent further erosion.

“The concern was that if erosion continued, it would undermine the pipe completely,” CFPUA’s Executive Director Jim Flechtner said.

Owned by the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority, the water main — which supplies raw water to the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant just north of downtown Wilmington — runs under U.S. 421 before turning 90 degrees and running along the road’s shoulder, he said.

“Right now, it’s protected from the washout,” Flechtner said.

A more permanent solution will be enacted as floodwaters recede further and N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) crews repair the road itself.

“We were concerned about it Friday night, we took quick action and we were able to get it stabilized,” Flechtner said.

Reporter Adam Wagner can be reached at 910-343-2389 or