San Diego

Little Italy Businesses Asking City for Money After Water Main Break

About 25 claims have already been filed, stemming from a July 2017 water main break

Businesses and restaurants in Little Italy are asking the city of San Diego for money after a water main break last year. 

On July 30, 2017, a 16-inch concrete main broke at Kettner Boulevard and Juniper Street in Little Italy. 

“This was a pretty horrendous water break,” said Marco Li Mandri with the Little Italy Association of San Diego.

Water flooded streets for hours. Normally busy restaurants and businesses were forced to close. “Kettner was shut down the entire day and you obviously can’t do any food service without water."

Documents obtained by NBC 7 after a public records request, show restaurants like The Crack Shack claiming a loss of revenue of nearly $26,000 that day. Juniper and Ivy claiming $16,000. Miriya Smith, who filed claims on behalf of those two restaurants did not respond to NBC7’s request for comment.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company claimed $300,000 for both property damage and loss of revenue.

The break also knocked out service on a trolley line. MTS filed a claim stating they lost over $30,000 because of flood damage. Rob Schupp with MTS wrote an email to NBC7 stating, “We’ll not make a public statement on this.”

Li Mandri said a few months before the water main break, work had been done on that same line. “So the real issue is one of ‘who is responsible for that break? Is it the contractor or is it the city?’ But we know it wasn't the businesses because they were the victims of it.”

Timothy W. Graham, Supervising Public Information Officer with the City of San Diego told NBC7, “Claims are being evaluated on a case by case basis and settlement discussions will depend on the merits of each claim."

Businesses affected by this water main break must make their claim to the City's Risk Management Department by the end of this month.

Graham said they estimate it will cost $2.8 million for the clean-up services and to pay for the damage to private property as a result of the break.

There's no word yet on if or how many of those claims have settled.

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