Hens Do Crow! Jan. 24, 2020

By Deborah Banish

Mother Nature packed another wallop for the three-day weekend which became a four-day weekend January 17-20 for many. She rolled in the winds and snow on Friday resulting in school closings to the delight of many children and the angst of parents. Kids not only got an extra day off but they were restricted to the indoors for most, if not all, of the weekend.

Rutland residents received an extra surprise in the early evening of Saturday, January 18th, when water slowly trickled out of the faucets. The City of Rutland sent out an alert to not use water around 5 p.m. that evening. A hearty crew bundled up and drove around town in an attempt to find the problem. The water tower was checked and appeared to be functioning during the storm, although it had a malfunction earlier in the week. The piles of recent snow did not help in that effort. Mike Mahrer and Rodney Erickson, along with the help of Calvin Jacobson, soon found the break near the intersection of First and Front Streets. By this time an army of helpers had gathered to assist with turning off the valve to stop the flow. Mike, Rodney and Calvin were joined by Rutland residents Mitch Mahrer, Chuck Sundlie, Colton Corry, Brad Wyum, Andy Harris, Kyle Mahrer and Mac Pherson. Staff from Southeast Water Users also traveled to Rutland to assist with the locating the break. Turning the valves proved to be a huge task as it takes about 21 turns to shut the valve and one turn of the valve was nearly a Herculean task.  The entire town was without water until about 5 p.m. on Sunday. When the water returned to the south side of the tracks, it was again just a trickle. The water in the tower itself had a thick sheet of ice on top and needed to be thawed. A two-man crew from Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls drove to Rutland on Tuesday to thaw the tower; however, they had to give up due to the high winds that followed the storm. They resumed the job on Wednesday thawing out the large chunk of ice that reduced the water flow. On Wednesday morning, the parts needed to repair the main break were on their way from Fargo to Rutland so that they could be installed to hopefully restore water to the North side residents on Wednesday.

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