Crews work to repair water main break that created sinkhole in San Ysidro

SAN DIEGO - A water main broke underneath a San Ysidro street Monday, creating a sinkhole and forcing the closure of a stretch of the drenched street.

The water from the ruptured 6-inch-diameter concrete pipeline began inundating the 200 block of West San Ysidro Boulevard about 4 p.m., according to the San Diego Water Department.

"It's very bad," said Lawrence, who owns smoke shop nearby. "It's killing every business on this street… the lady next door to me who has an insurance business… everybody."

Several businesses had to close hours earlier than usual because police closed several streets, making it impossible for traffic to get through.

Ruth Gonzalez told 10News her son Ron rode his motorcycle over what appeared to be a small pothole at Cottonwood Road.

She says when he saw it he instinctively pulled up on his motorcycle's handlebars, trying to avoid it but ended up crashing. He was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista with back and internal injuries and he has lost all feeling in one arm.

Initial reports indicated a bus may have struck the pavement before the motorcyclist, but authorities were not able to confirm that.

The flooding continued for several hours, as crews worked to determine which shutoff gate controlled the flow to the failed main, said Arian Collins, who is with the water department.

"Apparently, there were some valves that did not work when they tried to shut them down," said Collins. "Because of that, they went much farther back down the street and shut off other valves."

It took more than three hours and a lot of drilling to finally stop the flow of water from the 6-inch concrete pipe, which was most likely installed about 50 years ago.

No structural flooding was reported.

At one point, more than 100 customers were without water. As of about 10:45 p.m., service was restored to most of the affected customers.

City water crews will not be able to fix the broken pipe until Tuesday morning.

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