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George Street Tattoo co-owner Dominic Chapman said the shop did not trade on Monday but he came in to check something and it was lucky he did.
He scrambled to move artworks and equipment as water from the street outside burst through the windows and seeped through light fittings in the ceiling.
The four-storey-high spout of water was from a fire hydrant which had been hit by earthmoving equipment being used as part of the council’s $28million upgrade of the central city, about 3.20pm.
The water from the ceiling did not stop dripping until yesterday morning and the ceiling appeared to have cracked.
While there was disruption to the business, he was fortunate to be able to move into its old premises across the hall. It was hard to gauge potential damage because not all of the tattooing equipment had been tested.
The council had been fairly active in their response and had set up dehumidifying equipment Mr Chapman said.
He was sad because the studio had been the shop’s dream space and a lot of time had been spent setting it up.
Landlord Steve Lawton said he had talked at length to representatives of the council and he did not believe any permanent damage had been caused.