Bethesda Neighborhood Hit With Two Outages: Power And Water

5:32 PM, Jul 27, 2010   |    comments
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BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) - Water spewing from a broken underground pipe, is not what this Bethesda neighborhood hoped to see this morning.

"First its one thing, then the other. I'm wondering, what's going to happen next?" said a woman walking through the neighborhood with her son. She said they are planning to go camping because that will nicer than staying in their home.

For two days, they've struggled with no power.

The woman added,"I've thrown out everything in the fridge. I can't sleep because of all the generators in the neighborhood."

Fifteen year old Peter Truitt summed it up like this: "Miserable. Absolutely miserable. No TV, no AC."

Now, an 8 inch water main has split open, knocking out service for at least a day. Lyn Riggins, spokesperson with WSSC said, "It was a 59 year old pipe. It probably gave way and broke because of its age." Riggins says a quarter of all mainline pipes are more than 50 years old, creating a major infrastructure problem.

WSSC crews had to first shut off all the valves leading to the pipe before they could start replacing it, stripping the neighborhood of yet another modern convenience.

Resident Marcy Pekar, a former teacher said, "You try to teach the kids about the 1800s... here we are!"

Pekar was planning to pack up and head to her son's home, even though she'd braved past outages. "We've had the power off when it's been cold, hot, but having no water, that's just about the end! I can't take it anymore!"

But then, the lights came back on at around 1:30 p.m.

The fact the air conditioning came back on changed Marcy Pekar's plans.

"Yeah!! Air! Do you think you'll stay now! Yes, I think so. It was the combination, no air and no water I couldn't take."

Written by Peggy Fox

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