SAN DIEGO - A ruptured water main flooded a North Park neighborhood late Monday afternoon, leaving dozens of residences without functional plumbing into the evening hours.
The broken 6-inch-diameter concrete pipeline, which is likely from the late 1950s, began inundating Georgia Street at Florida Court about 5 p.m., according to police and the San Diego Water Department.
The break sent water gushing out of the ground and down the steep street like a mountain waterfall.
"It felt like it was part of a movie," said Louis Adamsel. "You got to keep running and stay alert and stay alive, you know."
Drew Danzeisen added, "We saw water coming down the street and then we saw the street buckle and I thought I was done."
Fatima Tinajero and her little brother were coming home from school when they saw the water.
"Suddenly this water just comes and hits us, he gets wet and I fall in the water," said Tinajero. "I was terrified, so I just ran."
Several streets were flooded.
"It was a river," said Elizabeth Bowles. "It was horrible. You couldn't even walk out onto the street here because it was so bad."
All that water found its way into at least two apartments, soaking the residents' carpet and furniture.
It took crews about an hour to halt the overflow, which gushed down steeply sloping Florida Court and along a stretch of adjacent Florida Street, said Arian Collins of the water department.
On Florida Court, an enormous slab of concrete pavement snapped and lifted 6 inches off the ground in two places, making it look like the scene of an earthquake.
Four blocks were left without water service pending repairs, which were expected to take until at least 2 a.m. Tuesday.