Ocean Beach

Broken hydrant floods businesses and apartments in Ocean Beach

An Ocean Beach intersection was under a flood last night, but not because of heavy rain. A pickup truck sheered a hydrant off the sidewalk, creating a two-story geyser that damaged businesses and flooded two apartments.

In a security camera video obtained by NBC 7, the pickup truck can be seen taking the right-hand turn from Ebers Street to Voltaire Street too tight and clipping the hydrant on the corner.

It happened at around 10 p.m. Thursday night, so there were plenty of OB visitors around to watch.   

The video is too distorted to get a clear picture of the license plate. The driver paused just a few seconds and then drove off.

“I thought there was a tornado out there, something is going crazy there,” ABC Liquor owner Amira Kiryakoza said. She's been on this corner for three decades.

It might be the strangest flood story you’ve heard. It didn’t come from below but came from above. The water seeped through the roof of the second-story building, flooded the two apartments above and then came into businesses underneath.

The water seeped through the store's ceiling fans. The weight of it caused some collapse.

Kiryakoza lost three ice cream freezers and the ice cream.

“I’m open, everybody is alive, nobody got hurt. That’s the main thing,” Kiryakoza said.

Aaron Null owns Vervor Shop and Design next door. He was there last night and recorded this video of the gushing hydrant.

“I could not believe my eyes driving down the street here, this 60-foot geyser going right into the roof,” Null said.

Much of his inventory of one-of-a-kind pieces was destroyed. Most of what he sells is made by local artists.

“It's kind of like a live Etsy shop but way funkier than that,“ Null said.

Mario Armas’ girlfriend lives upstairs.

“So I was up there. I happen to have a few guitars in there so I went to go save the guitars,” Armas said.

Witnesses say the hydrant gushed for some 30 minutes. Fire fighters received a round of applause after they managed to shut it off.

The flood victims are doing their best to dry out their spaces and inventory. The shops reopened around 4 p.m. Friday when electricity was restored to the building.

There are a lot of unknowns, like who is going to pay for this.

“Why should it be just me taking responsibility? I didn’t do nothing,“ Kiryakoza said.

Also, how did the architect of this flood from above getaway?

Business owners are concerned the damage to the building itself could be serious enough to have it torn down. That would leave them scrambling for new spaces in an already crowded business community.

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