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Water main break creates challenges for business owners, residents in Rockaway Beach, Mo.

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 3:52 PM CDT
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ROCKAWAY BEACH, Mo. (KY3) - A water main break left many in Rockaway Beach without water for almost two days.

Rockaway Beach Mayor Jim Harriger says city crews found a small leak on Sunday morning. By Monday night, the leak worsened leaving them with no other choice than to shut the system down.

“We had a section of pipe that would not shut off no matter how many valves we turned off so the only solution was to turn off the city,” Mayor Jim Harriger said.

Harriger says this has never happened in Rockaway Beach.

”The city has done okay with that we’ve got, people certainly have complained because not having water is serious,” Harriger said.

Bridge of Faith Community Church Pastor Jonathan McGuire says the church has been able to assist those in need of water the past two days.

”We called Western Taney County Fire Department, they were willing to send over a tanker truck and they filled up our Baptismal mobile tank and we were able to set this out on the front porch and people come and get water,” Jonathan McGuire said.

McGuire says Convoy of Hope is even sending down pallets of water for people.

”Even if they get the water turned back on it’ll replenish the water they’ve already used,” McGuire said.

White River Coffee Company owner Dean O’Bryan made the tough decision to close the shop Wednesday because the water was still shut off.

”All of our equipment, our espresso machine, our drip brew coffee pot all of these things are plumbed into the water supply coming from the building which comes from the city so none of them can operate without water,” owner Dean O’Bryan said.

O’Bryan says another concern is being able to wash things properly.

”Even though we may have water, there will be a period of time where we have to purge all the lines to make sure everything is clear and clean running water,” O’Bryan said.

He says two days without business can have an impact on a small business like his.

”All of that stuff ends up at the bottom line at the end of the month when the bills start coming in,” said O’Bryan.

Despite the challenges they’ve faced, he says people should remain positive.

“Work through this together and become a better place,” said O’Bryan.

Mayor Harriger says the city will be under a water boil advisory until Friday, September 24.

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