WATCH: A water main break at Victoria International Airport forced all water at the terminal to be shut off, meaning coffee shops and restaurants were closed, porta potties had to be set up and bottled water was handed out
It was an unusual scene at Canada’s tenth busiest airport Wednesday.
Outside there was heavy machinery, inside there were cleaning crews working hard wearing rubber boots.
It was the aftermath of a massive flood at Victoria International Airport after a water main in the building’s basement broke early in the morning.
So much water built up, the sheer pressure of it busted a door right off its hinges.
“The flooding was significant and the basement itself had a substantial amount of water,” said James Bogusz, Vice-President of Operations and Development for the Victoria Airport Authority.
All water to the terminal was shut off, meaning the Tim Hortons and Starbucks were shut down and there was no coffee or breakfast available to early morning passengers.
“We got here a little early so we could just relax and have some coffee and maybe do a little shopping and stuff but not so much now we’re just going to have to wait,” said Mary-Clare Boyle who was traveling to California.
In fact, all restaurant services on both sides of the security gate were closed for most of the day.
Bottled water was handed out to thirsty travelers, and for the first several hours of the day, there were no flushing toilets in the building.
“We were able to rush in some porta potties this morning and we now have eight on site so washroom service is restored,” said Bogusz.
Crews were able to get the indoor washrooms working by noon.
The water disruption wasn’t affecting flights and while most passengers were taking the inconveniences in stride, the airport offered an apology.
“We do apologize but this was not an expected event nor one we could control, and we are going to do our best to resolve it as soon as possible and get operations back to normal,” said Bogusz.
After several hours of digging through concrete, crews manage to find the section of water main that broke but when it will be fixed and just how much damage it caused will be determined in the days ahead.
By late afternoon, most restaurant services in the security-screened area of the airport were restored, but the White Spot, Tim Hortons, and Starbucks remain closed with no estimated time of reopening.