‘It looks like a war zone.’ Easton water main break buckles road, closes town offices and schools

Aquarion Water Company says water on High Ridge Road has since been restored.

Marissa Alter

Sep 6, 2023, 3:39 PM

Updated 257 days ago

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A massive water main break in Easton closed roads, town buildings, and two schools Wednesday. It happened just after 9 a.m. on High Ridge Road. Aquarion Water Company said 800 customers were affected with no water or low water after the 12-inch main blew a hole. Only those with well water weren’t impacted, according to police chief Richard Doyle. Aquarion Water Company says water on High Ridge Road has since been restored.
“It was literally a river going down the road,” said Jeni Cook-Mack. Cook-Mack told News 12 she had just dropped her kids off at school and saw a little bit of brown water running down the road when she returned home. “A few minutes later I get a call from my neighbor, who also just dropped her kids off, saying, ‘Are you home?’ Because she couldn't pull up the street, so it happened in a matter of minutes.”
“Parts of the street, rocks, everything was just flowing. We just had to stand around and hopefully it wasn't going to wash away our driveway,” said Matt Walsh. Walsh did lose the edge of this front lawn. He also never made it to work since the deluge destroyed his road.
“It looks like a war zone,” Walsh said. “It's just giant holes in the the blacktop. The road's heaving and dropping in some areas. It's crazy.”
“Every minute the road was changing and buckling in different places,” added Cook-Mack.
Aquarion and Southern CT Gas arrived on scene and turned off the water, with Easton fire and police helping.
Then the cleanup and repairs began.
The mess forced Easton leaders to close all town offices, the library, and the senior center while Helen Keller Middle School and Samuel Staples Elementary School let out early. That almost created an issue for Cook-Mack.
“My neighbor that got stuck off of Sturbridge was able to pick up my kids, and then I walked through the woods and met her on the other side of the street,” she explained. The torn-up road meant school buses couldn’t make the trip up High Ridge and dropped kids off at the bottom, but the fire department used an ATV to bring them up the rocky terrain.
Doyle said it would be several days before the road is fixed.
“As we're walking on certain parts of the edge, you can feel it move under your feet,” Walsh told News 12. “So yeah, we're just stuck, waiting and hopefully we can safely get out of here sooner rather than later.”
Aquarion dropped off bottled water at the fire department Wednesday afternoon for those affected by the water main break. Easton EMS, which is on well water, also invited anyone in the community to stop by for the bathroom or drinking water.


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