St. Charles businesses working to recover money lost after water main break

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Small business owners in St. Charles are trying to recover from a water main break that forced some of them to shut off their water for hours, losing money in the process.

On Monday, around 3:00 p.m., a car’s tire caused a water main break on Main Street and Tompkins. Water rushing down the street toward the Missouri River turned much of Main Street into a river itself.

“There was kind of a depression in the road over where our water main probably had a slow leak,” said City of St. Charles Director of Public Works, Nick Galla, “and it is 100-year-old main along us cast iron and just overtime it slowly deteriorates and the conditions were just right for it to break,”

Water service is now restored, but the cookie-sized hole, as Galla describes, soon turned into a 60-foot-long portion of the street now being ripped up for repairs.

Crews have replaced the pipe and are gearing up to lay down bricks taken from a city stockpile and saved for occasions like these.

“It’s kind of concerning. I hope it doesn’t affect the businesses and things like that,” said St. Charles resident Helen Nelson.

Many businesses avoided flooding, but the incident did cause some to shut off their water, which impacted operations. Located directly across from the break, Salt & Smoke St. Charles lost $5,000.

“It’s tough, especially given these last couple of years with stuff being tougher here. Losing revenue anytime is kind of tougher,” said Salt & Smoke general manager, Zach Carr. “But Monday nights are usually pretty good revenue for us, so it was tough.”

Across the street, Riverdale Sweets, also had to shut down.

“We did have to close early that day, about an hour early so we did lose some business,” said Riverdale Sweets salesperson Anna Clark.

Some said the water main break is just a part of the deal when doing business on such an old, historic street. They hope it doesn’t break again as the holidays are the busiest time of year.

One small business stressed the time between Fall and Winter is crucial to making enough money to survive the rest of the year.

“We’re really hoping nothing again happens around the holidays,” said Carr.

The street will operate as a one-way lane until the repairs are finished in a week.

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