Family grateful for DPW’s quick response

Submitted Photo City workers came to the rescue of this Taft Place residence over the summer in this photo provided by Joe Dunbar.

When people do a little extra for each other, it usually doesn’t make the headlines.

However, Joe Dunbar wants the Dunkirk Department of Public Works to get a little publicity for its help with a water line rupture at his family’s property.

Dunbar emailed the OBSERVER recently about how the DPW, specifically Water Maintenance Supervisor Rob Curry and his crew, rushed to help after the July 8 incident.

Curry and other workers came over to Dunbar’s mother’s home on Taft Place, on a Friday evening, to assist after an accidental pipe break.

“Friday after 6 p.m., that was the impressive thing,” Dunbar said in a follow-up interview. “It’s one thing in the workday.”

The pipe break “was our fault,” he said. “We started replacing waterlines … because some of them were already leaking.” When the contractor shut off the main line into the house, “it literally burst in his hand.”

The DPW workers had to find the shutoff valve outside, which was covered by decades of tree growth and debris. “They found it but it took two hours of digging,” Dunbar said. They wound using a so-called “suck truck” to blast through roots and rocks.

“They knew what they were doing. They had the tools, training and expertise, and they did it,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar said DPW did much more on the site. They hooked his mother’s house up to an emergency connection with a neighbor’s line. “They took the neighbor off the (water) meter so he didn’t have to pay,” he said.

Also, a crew came out the following Tuesday to cut and remove the tree growth that covered the original line and valve. The Dunbars later had a new connection put in place.

Dunbar said he and his family “are so grateful for the city of Dunkirk’s services helping us when we needed it most.” His mother who lives at the home is Mary Dunbar, a retired nurse who worked at Brooks Memorial Hospital for many years.


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