Neillsville takes water shortage in stride

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NEILLSVILLE, Wis (WEAU)--The city of Neillsville is dealing with a water shortage for the second straight day and it still hasn't pin-pointed the source of the major water main break that caused it.

The Neillsville Water Department discovered a leak Thursday afternoon, which left most of the town without water for several hours and forced the town to cancel school Friday.

Friday Morning the city was able to get water back into the tower, but it's still unknown if the water is safe to drink or use.

For businesses like Country Floral “Too” that meant getting creative on arrangements on one of their busiest days of the year.

"We had to bring water in and cut all the flowers,” said Connie McDonald with Country Floral “Too”

The floral store brought in a half dozen five gallon jugs of water to keep their flowers fresh.

"As they come into get flowers most people are laughing," said McDonald.

The shop is just one business getting creative to keep its doors open while the city works to repair its water main break. The Neillsville Memorial Hospital and courthouse received water from neighboring communities. Others businesses stocked up on water bottles.

“Most residents took it in stride. I'm appreciative of that because there is nothing we can really do about it. It's like trying to find a need in a haystack,” Neillsville Mayor Steve Mabie said.

City workers suspect the break started around 6th and Grand Avenue. The workers also found two other leaks in the system nearby.

“They have their hands full but they have been doing a wonderful job,” Mabie said.

He says city workers have been working feverishly to fix the problem. But with no surface leak they are forced to go from man hole to man hole to isolate each leak.

"We are glad now that we have water back to 95 percent of the residents but there are still a few that are without and we are working on that," Mabie said.

And until they can get a clean water sample tested residents will be asked to get bottled water or boil it. An adjustment many in town say is no problem.

“You just have to adjust, it’s been going well,” McDonald said.

Once the city gets a clean water sample the boil advisory will be lifted. Mabie said that could take until Monday.

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