Vandal shoots holes in Harrisburg water tower

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Frank DeLoache
Salisbury Post
HARRISBURG ó A vandal cost the town of Harrisburg thousands of dollars and thousands of gallons of water last week when he shot the town water tower at 8885 Rocky River Road.
Harrisburg Public Works Director Todd Taylor said someone driving by the tower Friday afternoon noticed water leaking from the structure and called town officials.
Taylor said he hadn’t left work long before he got the call and returned to the tower between 5:30 and 6 p.m.
Town workers found one bullet hole, and they don’t see how it could have been an accident, since deer hunting season is over and the tower is surrounded by subdivisions.
Town workers didn’t have any way of plugging the leak, other than closing the main valve and shutting down water going into the tank, Taylor said. They also had to drain it enough so repair workers can get inside the tank.
The repair work was supposed to start Tuesday.
Town officials estimate the tank lost 100,000 to 200,000 gallons of water, which equates to about $6,000, and the city estimates the repairs will cost about $5,000.
More aggravating is knowing someone would waste such a precious resource as officials worry about another upcoming dry summer.
Taylor said he hopes publicity about the incident doesn’t prompt any copycats, but he also hopes any article might result in the arrest and prosecution of those responsible. He said town officials have talked about offering a reward, though they haven’t taken any action yet.
Anyone with information about the tower vandalism can call anonymously to Cabarrus Area Crime Stoppers at 704-93-CRIME (932-7463).