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Water main breaks affect Millcreek chocolatier during Easter rush

Posted at 6:25 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 20:25:55-04

MILLCREEK, Utah — After six water main breaks in Millcreek Wednesday, the owner of C. Kay Cummings Candies, Marilyn Oakey, says she's only open thanks to the generosity of a neighbor and it couldn't be a worse time.

C-Kay Cummings specializes in chocolates and other sweet treats, and the company's Easter sales are important.

“These three days are going to be my biggest days next to Christmas,” Oakey said.

A few days before the Easter holiday, Oakey got an early morning wake-up call letting her know that water was gushing from her building.

“We understand there`s a break in the line in two places. We`ve got a break at our fire suppression line at the building somewhere and then one out in the street in the manhole,” Oakey said.

The breaks have left Oakey's business without water during one of her busiest seasons.

“Right now, we have no water. Because of nice neighbors, we got a hose coming from the next-door neighbor to our property so we have some culinary water so we can operate. I’ve been trying to call Salt Lake Public Works all day yesterday and today to find out if they can explain to me what happened because it seems like a huge coincidence that everybody breaks at the same exact time,” Oakey said.

She hasn't gotten an explanation from Salt Lake Public Utilities, but Millcreek city told her it was a pressure regulator valve that malfunctioned.

“This morning they showed up to turn my water on for me and I’m like you can’t turn my water on until we fix the pipe, so I had to send them away, but I don`t think they understand the magnitude of what we’re up against,” Oakey said.

In a statement provided to Fox13 the director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities, Laura Briefer says, "we understand the business owner's frustration in dealing with her water issue. At this time, we are in contact with her and our team is helping the owner's contractors make the proper repairs."

“My bid yesterday was anywhere from $8-15,000 minimum. Until they know what they`re up against we don`t know the exact cost which is significant for a small business like us. It was their issue that caused this problem. They should be fixing it,” Oakey said.

Salt Lake Public Utilities has asked that Oakey file a claim with risk management and if they determine the damage is the city's responsibility, she'll be reimbursed for the repairs.