El Cajon

Water Main Breaks Weeks Before Scheduled Replacement, Flooding El Cajon Street

The El Cajon Police Department tweeted a photo of the flooding at Broadway and N. First Street Friday morning

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El Cajon police have reopened a stretch of a main roadway impacted for hours Friday morning when a water main break led to flooding.

More than two dozen homes in the area of Broadway and N. First Street were without water as a result of the 12-inch main break that led to a "large water leak" that flooded the roadway in the early morning hours.

Just after 7:30 a.m., the El Cajon Police Department tweeted that the area of Broadway and N. First Street had reopened to traffic, although crews remained at the scene working on the water issues.

But customers were still affected through the afternoon, Mike Uhrhammer, a spokesperson for Helix Water told NBC 7. It would be another 10 hours, approximately, until working water would be restored, he said. Meanwhile, a water truck was onsite to provide water for those affected.

The 12-inch diameter cast iron pipe was about a month away from being replaced, Uhrhammer said. Work had already begun on the process, including the installation of a new, PVC pipe that would take its place.

"All of our monitoring and planning said now is the time to replace this pipe, and after decades of use, it failed just a few weeks before we completed its replacement," Urhammer said.

Police shared a photo on Twitter just before 4:20 a.m. that showed water coming up to the level of the sidewalk, blanketing a crosswalk near a shopping center that houses a tire and auto shop.

Motorists were cautioned to use an alternate route.

The cause of the leak is unknown and police have not yet released further details.

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