OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Water officials in Maryland knew that they may have averted a crisis that threatened to leave hundreds of thousands of people without water for days, but they kept mum for hours to ensure their fix worked.
Washington media report that officials kept silent about a plan to fix an old valve they knew could avert the crisis. Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission spokesman I.J. Hudson said officials knew shutting a stuck valve was possible but they were having difficulty making it work.
Hudson says he believes crews closed the valve at about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday. Water officials didn't share the good news until about noon Wednesday. Hudson says officials weren't sure the repaired valve would hold and were afraid sharing the good news would keep residents from taking the crisis seriously.