Water main break floods Fresno Neighborhood

August 7, 2012 12:22:53 AM PDT
A major water main break on East Pitt between Clovis and McMillian has been fixed, but the repair work has only just begun

More than a dozen homes were affected by the flooding water caused by a broken water main. City crews now say "material" failure is to blame. They've replaced the pipe, but the road is another issue..

Moments after the break, home video captured the river that was once McMillin Avenue. "It was like a canal -- like a river. I wasn't able to see our road no more. It was scary," said Omar Aguilar.

Aguilar, 12, first called his mom, then he alerted his neighbors. All of them worried the rushing water was going to rush into their homes.

"We could see right where you see its sinking. there's bubbles coming up through you could see the road was bubbling up the actual concrete," said Katherine Giorgianni.

Katherine says-she watched while those bubbles nearly swallowed a Fresno Fire Department rig.

City workers say, a 14-inch water main pipe had burst, which forced the concrete to bubble and then lift and break. The city once relied on thin pipes, but eventually changed them all over to a thicker version. They believe this one hadn't yet been replaced..

"We did change over materials from a thinner walled pipe that was the right class, but we had problems with it in the late 90's and 2000's. So about 2003 we switched to a thicker walled pipe," said Martin Querin, Assistant Director of Public Utilities, Water Division.

The broken pipe has now been removed and replaced with a thicker version. But in the process of repair, residents were left without water.

"I have a baby and I have 3 other kids and I need to go we have no water and its hot," said Greta Macias.

It may also be a while before they can drive back in on their street.


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