Water main break floods Mission Beach-area roads

SAN DIEGO - A broken water main flooded a major Mission Beach intersection Tuesday and left a row of shops, restaurants and a tourist-oriented hotel temporarily without functional plumbing.

The failed 40-year-old 12-inch cast-iron pipe began inundating the roadway at Mission Boulevard and West Mission Bay Drive about noon, according to the San Diego Water Department.

"I was coming from my hotel to go to the beach and all of a sudden police were everywhere, roads were blocked, not exactly what I planned on," said Esteban French, who is visiting San Diego for Spring Break.

It took city crews roughly 90 minutes to halt the overflow, which may have flooded some alley-access garages but caused no reported damage to any businesses or living quarters, SDWD spokesman Arian Collins said.

"I came out of my apartment and saw my garage filling up with water," said Ezra Cosby, who lives at a beachside apartment.  

Cosby moved his car and then used a kayak to get around.

The flooding sent Gus Rojas' bus on a detour and he arrived about an hour late to his first day on the job at Belmont Park.

"The whole street was completely flooded," Rojas said. "You couldn't even walk because you would literally get your shoes wet and your socks. You had to go through the alleys to get on the other side."

Jazz Phillips, who was trying to get to the beach, told 10News, "It's not clean water at all, probably mixed with sewer water, I don't know; I don't want to know."

The 800 block of West Mission Bay Drive was closed to through traffic pending completion of repairs.

Water service was restored late Tuesday and crews plan to work through the night until all the repairs are finished.

As of 6 p.m., West Mission Bay Drive remains closed to through traffic in both directions between Mission Boulevard and Gleason Road.

The city sent in "water wagons" to serve properties along the closed section of roadway, as well as the nearby Bahia Hotel, Collins said.

"We're just going to take in a Padres game and get away from here for awhile," said Jennifer Golding, a guest at the hotel.  

San Diego has been on a mission since 2007 to replace cast-iron water pipes, but that project won't be finished until 2017.

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