Hundreds of gallons of raw sewage gushed onto U.S. 90 on Thursday morning after a force main broke on the old Broadwater property.
Public Works supervisor Tracey Forehand, on the scene shortly after the gusher was reported at 9 a.m., said the ground contracts when the weather turns cold. The earth grips underground pipes, in some cases twisting and breaking them. The same thing happens in the spring, he said, when the earth loosens its grip on pipes.
Sewage gushed out of a storm drain and flooded the highway, dousing motorists’ cars as they passed. Public Works employees quickly shut off the force main and were sawing up the concrete sidewalk to repair it. Forehand estimated 1,000 to 2,000 gallons escaped the pipe.
The sewage was flowing from all the showers and toilets at Ocean Club condominiums and the surrounding area.
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Forehand said the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will be closing the beach in the area as a precaution because of potential bacterial contamination. Public Works planned to vacuum up all the sewage and haul it away.
As for the motorists who ran through the mess, Forehand advised, “Go wash your car.”