SAN DIEGO -
A broken metal water pipe damaged homes and apartments, and forced closure of Nimitz Boulevard near Lindbergh Field on Sunday.
The rupture occurred early Sunday beneath Nimitz Boulevard near the intersection with Shafter Street, between Rosecrans Boulevard and North Harbor Drive.
Signs of the massive water main break were still evident by Sunday afternoon. Mud lines on cars parked in the neighborhood showed how high the water got.
"They were actually kayaking back and forth on the street here," said resident Dave Witt.
For many residents, this is no laughing matter. Water from the broken main washed into their homes and ruined everything it touched.
"Sounded like an air hammer or something going through the pipes," said resident Hazel Reed.
Reed told 10News she was up shortly after 1:30 a.m. Sunday when she heard that noise. She went to her bathroom and said the toilet would not flush and that there was no water.
"I came to the front door and I looked down the street and I saw the water gushing," Reed said.
She saw the water going underneath her apartment building where her car was parked, so she immediately went down and moved her car.
The break was likely due to "corrosion to an old cast iron water main," according to Arian Collins, spokesman for the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department.
The cast iron water main was installed in 1943. Once the pipe broke, the water undermined the street and it gave way, creating a large sinkhole in the roadway.
Water service was lost to accounts in the 2600 through 2900 blocks of Nimitz Boulevard, Collins said. Some apartments and homes in the area sustained water damage, he said.
Some Shelter Island-area accounts were also without water service, a city official said.
Now, residents are wondering and worrying about what might come next.
"The city should pay for this, I think, but hey, what are you going to do?" said Witt. "The rental property isn't going to cover it and the city... it's their fault."
Crews expected to have the pipe repaired and water service restored by 8 p.m., but the road would likely remain closed until at least Monday, Collins said.