Blizzard cuts Taneytown's water supply

March 15, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Taneytown residents lost water pressure in their homes for much of yesterday in a snow-related mishap while many Carroll countians were digging themselves out of snow up to two feet deep, not counting drifts.

Pressure in Taneytown's two public water tanks dropped from 30 pounds to 5 pounds yesterday when heavy snow and ice collapsed part of the roof at the Worthington Pump factory on Route 140 west of the town.

A worker there, who declined to give his name, said the roof and steel I-beams supporting it broke pipes in the plant's sprinkler system when they collapsed at about midnight Saturday. The leakage, which apparently seriously drained the town's water tanks, continued unabated until the damage was discovered at 9:15 a.m. yesterday.

The roof collapse also ripped lifting cranes from the walls of the plant and covered machinery with debris.

"We've got a hell of a mess," the worker said.

Today, schools, county offices and courts were closed in Carroll, and many civic activities were canceled.

State police at the Westminster barracks said routes 140, 97 and 32 were passable by late yesterday, but the county still was suffering from drifting snow on back roads.

Police and the county's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said there were many abandoned cars in Carroll over the weekend, but no serious accidents and no serious fires.

EOC dispatchers reported seven medic unit calls to help people with chest pains, and Carroll County General Hospital reported treating the same number of people for pains associated with shoveling snow.

Beginning Saturday, the EOC dispatched four-wheel-drive vehicles with each medic unit sent to respond to emergency calls to open pathways through the snow for the ambulance.

Troopers' cars were equipped with chains to answer calls in the western portions of the county.

State and county road crews, involving at least 120 people, were kept busy throughout most of the weekend plowing and replowing. They were rewarded Saturday night with a barbecue dinner prepared and served by three staff members and a volunteer at the Hashawa environmental center in Westminster.

Some 36 of the crew members spent the night at the center, said Kathy Leonard, an administrative assistant, and they were expected back last night.

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