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Amherst, again, dealing with a water main break

Another water main broke in Amherst.

The latest break happened Monday in the area of Sheridan Drive and Harlem Road, according to Amherst police.

The department tweeted about the break at about 12:45 p.m.

Sheridan Drive was closed between the Interstate-290 and Sunrise Boulevard but reopened by about 1:20 p.m.

At about 1:15 p.m., the leak – which was spraying more than 10 feet in the air – had been contained, the Erie County Water Authority tweeted. The roadway was expected to reopen by 1:30 p.m.

It’s not that unusual to see a spike in the number of water-main breaks in Western New York around this time of year, said Michael E. Kessler, director of water resources for the Town of Tonawanda.

The parched ground in the dead of summer is similar to what happens during a deep freeze in the winter, Kessler said.

He said to think of the ground like a sponge. As it gets really dry, “it kind of tightens up,” he explained.

The dry ground puts a good amount of torque, or pressure, on the underground pipes.

The conditions pose a headache for the local officials responsible for the operations of water infrastructure.

“We don’t like it freezing and we don’t like it real dry,” Kessler said.

Two of 11 breaks reported Sunday by the Erie County Water Authority happened in Amherst.

And of course there was last Wednesday’s big one that led to a boil-water advisory for a quarter-million people in northern Erie County.


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