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Busted water main leaves up to 30 Newport homes dry

As many as 30 Newport homes were without running water early Thursday following a water main break that the city's public works director says was the indirect result of vandalism.

The break, centered east of Highway 61 around the intersection of 8th Avenue and 18th Street, occurred at approximately 6:30 a.m., said Bruce Hanson, Newport's public works superintendent. Hanson said the burst main followed an incident earlier in the morning when vandals opened two or three fire hydrants sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m.

The gushing hydrants forced the city's water system to pump a higher volume of water than normal, causing a weak point in the main to break open, Hanson said.

"It was such a shock to the system," he said.

Hanson said the break was fixed with a metal clamp by around 10:30 a.m. By early afternoon, he said, running water had been restored to most homes.

Thursday's water main break was the ninth of the year in Newport, Hanson said.

A note on the city's Facebook page warned residents to run cold water until it runs clear before washing clothes to avoid discoloration.