Somewhere out there, among the Pittsburgh suburbs’ 15 square miles of snow-covered neighborhoods and businesses, a water main was losing more than 3,000 gallons of water a minute. He checked his dials again and did some quick calculations. The township’s storage tank held 1 million gallons of water. At this rate, all of it would be gone before dawn.
But exactly where was the water leaking? Where was the pipe break? He had no idea. The answer came five hours later. A ruptured water main in the town’s commercial district drained off the majority of the township’s supply and left six inches of standing water on the floor of a neighboring Toys “R” Us (not to mention – with little available water for the day, it forced schools to close).