Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Didn't get a chance to finish your story? Purchase a day pass digital subscription and you'll receive unlimited online access for one day (24 hours). You will have immediate access upon completion of your purchase.

Oelwein Utilities Superintendent Vic Kane is a firm believer in “Murphy’s Law,” — if something unfortunate is going to happen, it will be at the most inopportune time. That’s how he looks at the water main break that occurred Thursday night on 10th Street SE between Highway 150 and South Frederick Avenue.

“One of the coldest days of the year and on a Friday, too,” Kane said, with a half-hearted chuckle.

He said the break had caused water to flow all across the two-block area before the city got a grader out there early Friday morning to channel it to the curb. He has called a locater and now has to wait for that person to come and perform a locate of the problem before city employees start digging into it.

Kane figures it will be Monday before they are able to do any fixing. During that time, 10th Street may have to be blocked off, so drivers should plan an alternate route Monday morning if they are used to traveling that stretch to get to work.

“We will have to cut the road, dig down and see how bad it is. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we can get by with a clamp and it won’t be so bad,” Kane said hopefully. “We’ve had a lot of breaks there in the past and there might be a service line there that will have to be moved to fix it.”

Kane said right now, the water is a lot warmer than the outdoor temperature, so it is cutting a path and running along the curb to the rain gutter.

“It’s not even on the list for this year, but then there are a lot of bad spots and no money,” Kane said. On an optimistic note he added, “At least by Monday, it will be warmer.”