Water main break floods El Sobrante

April 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Shopkeepers and store owners are shaking their heads over the water main break that caught them by surprise and sent water gushing into nearly a dozen small businesses Thursday afternoon near Hillcrest Road and San Pablo Dam Road.

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Crews had a hard time repairing the broken water main break, even after seven hours after it first burst. Inside the pit they dug into the ground, water started gushing out again.

crews worked through the night to repair the broken water main... but more than seven hours after it first burst, water still gushed out.

It turns out, the busted 12-inch cast iron water main is more than 60-years old.

East Bay MUD says this stretch of El Sobrante is part of the water agency's master plan to replace old, vulnerable pipes, but officials couldn't say when exactly this specific water main was set to be replaced.

Firefighters helped lay down sand bags and East Bay MUD crews tore up the street to get to the source of the problem.

Only a handful of businesses were actually flooded. Irene's Apparel was one of the hardest hit.

East Bay MUD says it doesn't know the reason for the break. The water agency is sending claims representatives out to work with the local businesses here. Still, even those that weren't impacted directly by the flooding have been hit by the cleanup. All of the repair work on San Pablo Damn Road forced many to close early for the day.

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