Water main break temporarily closes south Columbia businesses

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COLUMBIA – Businesses in south Columbia closed Thursday morning for a water main break at Nifong Blvd and Buttonwood Drive. Some of the stores are now open again. 

Connie Kacprowicz, spokesperson for Columbia Water and Light, confirmed a private contractor hit the water line before 10 a.m. She said water main breaks are not uncommon for the area. 

Rebecca Miller is the co-owner of Peggy Jean's Pies and said the water main break came with a cost.

"December is one of our biggest months for business, every single dollar counts. Because going into January, January is a really slow month for us, so we are really trying to push the card, everyday, make as much pie as possible, sell as much pie as possible," Miller said. 

She also said she was frustrated by the city's lack of communication. 

Kacprowicz said it is difficult to get information to people right away during an emergency like this one.

"A lot of times, especially in the early stages of an emergency like this, we need to dig into the ground and find out exactly what the problem is. There's a lot of unknown things," Kacprowicz said.

KOMU 8 News contacted more than 20 businesses in the area, many who said they were experiencing problems with fresh water. Rock Bridge High School said it was not affected by the water main break.

As of 10:40 a.m., 12 businesses told KOMU 8 News they were without fresh water; Buffalo Wild Wings, Little Caesars Pizza, Starbucks, Rolling Hills Veterinarian Hospital, JoAnn Fabrics, Big Lots, Lizzi and Rocco’s Natural Pet Market, Peggy Jean’s Pies, Super Cuts, Sonic, and Tiger Bounce.

A city worker said the businesses have a temporary water line.

A representative from Buffalo Wild Wings said he expects to have problems with the water for six to eight hours. He said the restaurant had signs up on the door and is closed temporarily due to no fresh water for the kitchen and restrooms.

KOMU 8 News had a reporter on the scene Thursday morning.