North Park Main Break: Massive flooding causes massive damage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

North Park Main Break: Massive flooding causes massive damage

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8 / CNS) - A 50-year-old water main ruptured in North Park early Thursday, sending water surging over surrounding streets, flooding homes and tying up traffic over the course of a rainy morning and afternoon.

The torrent gushing out of the failed 30-inch cast iron pipe underneath North Park Community Park began inundating the surrounding neighborhood at about 4 a.m., according to the San Diego Public Utilities Department.

Many neighbors in the community had a rude awakening when they looked out their front doors. 

"I woke up to him screaming that's how I got up. It was a flood of water, it was crazy. I couldn't believe how much water there was, it came into the garage. It was insane," Jeff Carta said.

Due to the deluge, police shut down Idaho Street between Polk and University avenues, the latter thoroughfare between Idaho and Arizona streets, and Lincoln Avenue between Idaho and Hamilton streets.

Several homes and at least one apartment building wound up flooded to varying degrees, city spokesman Arian Collins said. The extent of the damage remained unclear as of early evening.

It took utility personnel about 90 minutes to get the overflow halted, Collins said.

Because the mid-1960s-era main that broke did not directly connect to meters, no one in the area was left without plumbing service, though some customers might have experienced reduced water pressure, according to Collins.

Crews labored through the day to patch the pipe amid off-and-on showers, and the soggy job was expected to continue through the night, he said.

Residents like Cathy Nelson told CBS News 8 she spent all day sweeping out what she could - as did her neighbors. 

"I don't know what I am going to do. All my apartment - everything - is flooded," she said. 

The pipe that broke is estimated to be more than 50-years-old, and was slated to be replaced in 2018. 

The City of San Diego Communications Department released the following statement:

A 30-inch diameter, cast iron water main broke early this morning within North Park Community Park near the intersection of Polk and Oregon streets. 

A hydraulics crew from the City's Public Utilities Department shut down the water main at about 5:30 a.m. 

The main is not directly connected to water meters so no customers will be without water. However, some customers may have low water pressure. 

There are reports of water damage to some homes near the break, but the extent is not yet known. Property owners who have damage caused by the water main break can file a claim with the City's Risk Management Department.

It has not yet been estimated when repairs will be completed. Vehicular traffic should avoid the area if possible while repair work is being conducted.

As of 5 p.m., the only remaining road closure was at the intersection of Idaho Street and Polk Avenue.

The water main was expected to be repaired and the road crossing re- opened by late Friday morning, the spokesman said.

Officers warned drivers to turnaround as rushing water flowed into businesses and homes in the area. 

The City of San Diego has had a plan in place for years to repair old water mains - all are expected to be repaired by 2023. 

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