Westport business owners sort through inventory, clean up mess after water main break floods stores

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Business owners in Westport are busy cleaning up Friday after a water main break flooded their stores with tens of thousands of gallons of water.

The break happened at Westport and Roanoke roads.

The city says crews completed repairs to the 6-inch water line overnight, but merchants remain unhappy over the city's response to the situation.

"What was the hold up?" asked Dan Mahaney, co-owner of Normal Human, a clothing shop. "We both had water pouring into our basements."

Mahaney is spending his Friday trying to dry out the basement of his store. He says he had to call a drain cleaner to pump out an estimated 20,000 gallons of water from his shop's basement.

Mahaney says he and his neighbors reported the break about noon on Thursday, but claims city crews didn't show up to shut off the line until more than three hours later.

"We weren't happy about it, about the response time," Mahaney said. "I wasn't happy about how most of the customer service handled our calls. We were, just if anything, we wanted to know when it is going to happen. If it's going to be three hours tell us it's going to be three hours. Don't make us wait and tell us to call back in an hour and a half, because nobody has shown up yet."

Some of Mahaney's merchandise got soaked, but he says it could have been a lot worse.

When asked about the delayed response, Brooke Givens with Kansas City Water Services says the city is working through to understand the timeline of events.

"Something happened," Givens said. "I just don't know what yet."

Meanwhile, Mahaney says he hopes he doesn't have to file an insurance claim. He expects the city to reimburse him for his clean up bill and his other losses.

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