SF Water Main Break Floods Streets, Damages Homes

Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013  |  Updated 4:05 PM PDT
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Nearly two dozen homes and a number of cars were damaged by  flooding after a water main ruptured in San Francisco's Inner Parkside  neighborhood.

Nearly two dozen homes and a number of cars were damaged by flooding after a water main ruptured in San Francisco's Inner Parkside neighborhood.

Fire crews are at the scene of a water main break that has caused  major flooding and a sinkhole in San Francisco's Inner Parkside neighborhood early Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

The water main break, at the intersection of 15th Avenue and  Wawona Street, was reported to fire crews at 2:36 a.m.   The 16-inch cast-iron main broke sending a river of water and mud down the hill.

The intersection is completely  flooded and residents have also reported flooding of their cars and homes.

An estimated 23 homes and 12 vehicles were damaged, SFPUC spokesman Tyrone Jue said. He said the pipe that ruptured was installed in 1952.

Resident Kevin Flores, 24, was woken up by his brother as the water came gushing into their 15th Avenue home.

"The water was already up to my knees," Flores said. "I thought the ocean had come in." Another neighbor, 71-year-old Marian Simonian who has lived in her home for 50 years, said there have been previous water main breaks in the neighborhood but "nothing like this." The water went through her home and into the backyard, she said.

Six homes have been yellow-tagged by the city, meaning they were damaged and have limited areas that are habitable, Jue said.

A large sinkhole opened up on 15th Avenue at the site of the break, and will take several hours to repair, he said. All customers still have water service except for one home directly west of the sinkhole, he said. Anyone who suffered property damage is asked to call the city attorney's claims division at (415) 554-3900.

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