Broken pipe floods basements in La Crescent homes - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Broken pipe floods basements in La Crescent homes


LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW) – A cracked plastic feed pipe at a La Crescent water treatment plant flooded the plant and several home basements in the area Thursday.

The city is still investigating why the pipe cracked.

Suzanne Merkl's basement may be underground, but she didn't expect it to fill with sewer fluid.

"Our floor is gray but with that much water on it, and having it with the sewage in it, it was just all black," Merkl said.

When Merkl walked into her basement Thursday morning, sewer damage measured three inches high.

It's not the first time the basement has flooded, Merkl said.

"I've been down here working and then it's shooting out of the floor drains and out of the toilet in the back room," she said.

The cause of the flood was a cracked plastic feed in the city's water treatment plant.

"It was drinking water that went down into the floor drain that ultimately ended up in the sewer," said Jay Gillette, utility maintenance supervisor.

Gillette said his team has replaced the plastic feed with a copper one.

"Hopefully that'll be a lot stronger than the plastic one; last a little longer," he said.

"Because we've done this before, if you look, everything is up four to five inches on pylons," Merkl said.

Merkl may have been prepared for unexpected flooding, but when it comes to work, she's a little water-damaged.

"I'm an artist and my studio is down here so until this is all cleaned up and totally repaired, it's going to put me out of business," she said.

Merkl said while the city has paid to clean up water damage in the past, she and he neighbors are fed up and plan to take up the issue at the La Crescent City Council meeting Monday.

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