San Diego

Water Main Break Floods Midway Homes with Water and Mud

A water main running along a hillside between two residential streets burst Monday causing a mudslide that flooded nearly a dozen Midway District homes and displaced residents.

The 8-inch concrete main broke between Larga Circle and Oleander Drive around 2:30 p.m. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) told NBC 7 that four homes on Oleander and six below on Larga Circle were evacuated.

Larga Circle resident Bill McGuigan saw the whole thing unfold from inside his home and described the frightening moment to NBC 7.

"Suddenly I saw all the ice plants come sliding down the hill and then suddenly a gush of water came flowing down," Bill McGuigan said. "It was just mud that came flowing down and it kept coming down and it started seeping into the house. It started seeping into the rooms and started going up and up and up, so I got out of the house," McGuigan added.

A Red Cross spokesperson said the non-profit was assisting 10 displaced households consisting of about 25 people. They were given shelter and would also be helped with recovery casework assistance.

A Disaster Action Team also responded to the neighborhood and assisted families there, the spokesperson said.

Displaced resident Karin Davila also witnessed the hillside give way to the enormous burst of water.

"I saw the cliff just burst," Davila said. "You just hear this boom and it was pretty serious so we grabbed the dogs and ran out of the house."

Davila said she and her boyfriend had only enough time to grab their dogs. She couldn't help think about the items she left behind but was glad they were all safe.

The couple will have to wait until they're allowed back in their home to see just how badly it was damaged.

It took emergency crews more than two hours to shut off the water, San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Ed Kinnamon said.

A spokesperson with the city said about 60 customers in the area were without water and said the Public Utilities Department hoped to have it restored by midnight.

Soil and structure engineers were called to the scene to assess possible erosion threats, according to Kinnamon. A geologist was also called to the neighborhood to investigate the stability of the hillside.

SDFD said that homes above the hill were evacuated due to fear of even more hillside crumbling beneath them.

Monday's main break was the third in the Midway District in just two weeks.

One pipe burst beneath the street near the 3700 block of Midway Drive on Saturday and left hundreds of customers without water.

An 18-inch pipe also broke on Sunday, August 6, on Midway Drive between Rosecrans Street and Sports Arena Boulevard.

Officials said none of the breaks are connected,

No other information was available.

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