Crews work to fix water main break in East Village: Rupture happened on intersection of F at 14th

Crews plan to replace pipe

SAN DIEGO - A 102-year-old water pipe ruptured beneath the intersection of 14th and F streets early Wednesday, leaving some area homes and businesses without running water and prompting the closure of the busy East Village intersection for repairs.

The rupture in the 16-inch, cast-iron water main was reported about 3:30 a.m., and it took crews about an hour to cut off the flowing water, according to Arian Collins, spokesman for the San Diego Public Utilities Department.

A 10News crew was there as hundreds of gallons of water gushed through the street, tearing through asphalt and creating a sinkhole.

The break occurred near state Route 94, a major artery that pumps traffic to and from downtown San Diego.

F Street was initially closed between 13th and 15th streets. As of 11 a.m., one lane reopened.

Meanwhile, 14th Street remained closed between E and G streets as of noon.

Scott Stephens, who is homeless, was sleeping at the intersection when he heard the roar of rushing water.

"I was sleeping and my bed started to move and I freaked out ... and I looked over my tarp and all this water is coming through and my shoe was floating down the street," said Stephens.

Stephens said he was trying to get back on track.

"I still have only one sock on, one sock off," he said. "When you only have one pair of shoes and they're all wet -- you got to put them back on."

The break was likely caused by corrosion to the old water main, but ruptures often occur during very cold or hot weather when brittle pipes expand or contract, Collins said.

The area is not expected to reopen until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.

Crews plan to excavate the area, cut out the old pipe and replace it, Collins said.

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