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Water main explodes in west Columbia

A water main exploded in west Columbia on Sunday evening.

Some residents on Hulen Drive reported a gas odor, but Ameren crews on scene said no gas leak was found.

Water & Light was able to make repairs by Monday morning.

About 10 residents were affected by the water main break, said WAter & Light spokeswoman Lissie Wade. Before the repairs, residents were being informed to boil their water.

Lightning in the area Sunday evening caused crews to temporarily stop repairs due to safety concerns. Wade said the water break was not connected to a lightning strike.

Some neighbors reported a tree was struck by lightning about 100 yards from where the water line broke. Wendy Walters said it sounded like an explosion.

“We thought our house got struck by lightning, but in fact it was this big tree that’s like 47 years old,” Walters said.

She said they went outside and discovered the water main down the street had bursted.

“Water was coming out like a volcano, it was crazy,” Walters said.

Water & Light couldn’t confirm if the lightning strike caused the water main to break.

The Columbia Fire Department said it is investigating a water main break and gas leak in the 1100 block of Hulen Drive.

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