No water for some as crews repair Winston-Salem water main break

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Many people in Winston-Salem are water-less following a water main break on the outskirts of downtown.

The break occurred over the weekend, when crews made a minor repair to keep water flowing to the area around 11th Street and Patterson Avenue. Monday morning, they were back on site to attempt to rectify the problem.

Carolina Narrow Fabric, which is located on the corner where the break happened, had to close their doors around noon on Monday. Crews waited for the employees to clear out before getting down to work. They then shut down the water to the blocks between Northwest Boulevard and 10th Street.

However, the Bethesda Center, a homeless shelter located on 10th Street, can't shut down, regardless of if they have water or not.

"That means that they won't be able to take showers, won't be able to wash their clothes [and] individuals depend on coming to here to be able to do those things," said City Councilman Derwin Montgomery, executive director of the center.

For now, center clients are traveling to nearby churches and area businesses to use their water.

"Some people have appointments to go to, job interviews, and you smell and all that kind of stuff. … It's just terrible," said Randy Barnes, a Bethesda Center client.

Crews have taken advantage of having the water shut off to the area, by replacing two other valves in the area.

"I mean it's just like your body. You always have to work on your body to keep it functioning," said Michael Alexander, utilities construction manager.

Alexander says the water was originally supposed to be turned back on by 9 p.m., but that time has been moved back to midnight.

"There is nothing we can do about it; just be patient, and hopefully they can just get it done," said Barnes.

Utilities officials say this type of work is covered by fees paid by customers, but this incident will not cause rates to go up.