Water main break floods streets in San Francisco's Sunset District

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Crews are working to repair a water main break at 18th Avenue and Noriega Street in the city's Sunset District.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission says water service is affected from 17th to 19th Avenues on Noriega and Moraga from 17th to 18th Avenues.

SFPUC spokesperson Suzanne Gautier says the 8/9 inch break happened around 7:30 a.m. It appears to be a pipe from the 1930's. Gautier says water main breaks are average in the winter months. They've responded to about a dozen in the last two weeks. She said it's something they face with aging infrastructure. Gautier says they're only able to repair 12 miles at a time and disrupt water service when compared to 1,200 miles of piping under the streets in various sizes.

Emma Neu lives right in front of where the main break and woke up along with her roommates to water rushing out. "It was seriously just gushing down, it was a river right in front of my house coming out of these potholes. I had my car parked right here and they said it could collapse further so we seriously put the car back in," Neu said.

Mallory Graf lives down the hill between 18th and 19th Avenue and water flooded her garage and even reached her backyard. "I saw this gush of water come from our backyard door and I was wondering what in the world was that? It was brown water," Graf said.

Graf said the fire department was first at the scene and a firemen named Jay Palmer helped set up a pump inside of her garage to remove the water. "The firemen were great. Otherwise we would've been here all day. Because we have one of those- the house is old 1926. We have those little brown drains that are all over the city. There's no way the water would've drained," Graf said. She said nothing too serious in her garage looks damaged. She was more concerned about it reaching her new furnace.

Graf plans to clean for the rest of the day. "Spend my day cleaning, but that's ok it could've been worse. It could've been sewer water and it wasn't you know," Graf said.

The exact cause of the main break is unknown but Water Department crew members say this is 'water main break season' because of the colder temperatures.

They hope to have water service restored around 1 p.m.

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area.

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