Water main breaks close major Tampa roads

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A series of water main breaks stemming from last week's cold snap continued to wreak havoc on some major roads in Tampa Monday.

The Tampa Water Department was working on as many as 40 active water main breaks Monday afternoon, with more expected to crop up throughout the week.

"What will happen during these times is the pipes get put under considerable stress when they're contracting and expanding, and they'll break," said Chuck Weber, the department's director. "The older a pipe is, the more susceptible it is to breaking. But that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be old in order to break."

Some of the areas that have been impacted include heavily-traveled roads like North Himes Avenue, South MacDill Avenue, East Sligh Avenue, North Armenia Street, South Dale Mabry Highway and North 30th Street.

Weber believes Water Department crews have handled the peak of the problem.

"I think we're starting to see the worst as far as the rate of the number of main breaks. It will begin to taper off," he told reporters during an afternoon news conference.

Workers at stores along N. 30th said business has been impacted since the water main broke over the weekend.

"It's affected us tremendously here at Angel Tattoo. It's slowed down business. The parking lot is usually full and we haven't had a lot of traffic coming through," said Dylan Regan, who works at Angel Tattoo.

Weber reminded Tampa water customers if their service is shut off, there is a 48-hour boil water advisory.