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A 24-inch collapsed sewer line along Frontage Road in Blackfoot left some residents along Riverton Road knee deep in sewage water.
According to Blackfoot Mayor Mike Virtue, workers discovered the problem Monday morning after noticing that sewer flow had stopped coming into the system.
"That was a sign right that there was some blockage in the system," Virtue said.
Upon discovering the problem, Bingham County issued a reverse call from dispatch around 11:45 a.m., alerting residents to the problem and asking that those in the Blackfoot, Groveland, and Moreland areas refrain from using water as much as possible so that workers could repair the broken sewer line more quickly.
Virtue said that the first response was to bypass the line so that excavation crews could go to work to repair it. Workers estimated that it could take as long as 24 hours to complete the repair.
Unfortunately, tubs, toilets, sinks and full basements in at least four homes on the 1700 stretch of Riverton Road (about one half mile upline of the break) were overcome with sewage because of the breakage.
Joan Thompson, who has lived at her home at 1734 Riverton Road, for 40 years, was devastated to return from visiting her grandchildren in Logan Monday morning to discover 3 feet of sewage water in her beautifully finished basement.
Family and friends rallied to help salvage as much of Thompson's belongings as they could while attempting to pump out the contaminated water.
"I've lost family photos, all my genealogy and many antique heirlooms," an emotional Thompson said. "My entire basement is pretty much gone."
Virtue said that they [City of Blackfoot] don't know yet what caused the sewage line to break adding that the city's insurance adjusters have been called in to begin assessing the damage caused by the broken line.