Oceanside water main break creates sinkhole, submerges bus, leaves 400 without water

Bus driver escaped through a side window

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - As Oceanside residents slept, water flooded Los Arbolitos Boulevard, creating a sinkhole a North County bus would later fall into.

Click Here to view more images of the bus and sinkhole

Kevin Russell was just waking up around 6 a.m., when he heard commotion and stepped out on his balcony to take a look. From there, he saw a bus trying to navigate flooded streets.

"He was trying to go very slowly,” said Russell. “He went into the big flooded area and just nose dive right into the hole."

Home video obtained by 10News showed water gushing down Los Arbolitos Boulevard near El Camino Real. The flooding hid the danger beneath the surface.

"You could see the water. You didn't know it was a sinkhole,” said Russell. “The bus just kind of creeped in and went down."

Russell also watched the bus driver escape through a side window unharmed. The bus driver was the only person on board, but others were impacted by the flooding.

Some residents of an apartment complex on the same street woke up to find their cars filled with gallons of water.

"I thought I was dreaming in the beginning,” said Ray Suarez. “I'm not sure. I don't know if my insurance will cover this."

Suarez said his heated leather seats were ruined. He had too much water in his car, and not enough in his home.

At about 9 a.m., the City of Oceanside decided to shut off the water valve. That left about 400 homes without running water.

"No water -- none whatsoever,” said Russell. “(I) can't flush the toilet. We have a couple gallons of drinking water, but that's all."

The City of Oceanside said the water service was restored at 6 p.m.

Print this article Back to Top