Yakima water main break floods homes and yards

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Water pressure should be back to normal for people affected by a large water main break early this morning. Pressure dropped up to a couple of miles away from the rupture on 40th Avenue. KIMA spoke with neighbors whose homes were flooded.

"It was clear up to here, clear up to here, and within about five minutes or ten minutes, it was clear to here."

Judith Johnson's front yard was a mess. Water poured in from a broken water main along 40th Avenue, across from Chesterley Park.

"My Mom kind of came in the bedroom rushing and she was all like Rashelle, Rashelle, you've got to see what's happened," said Judith's daughter.

Judith called 911.

"I said, we're being flooded! Please, we need some help!"

Crews with Yakima's water and irrigation department showed up to fix the busted pipe.

"It appears that there was a minor leak there for some time and then it broke loose," said Yakima's water and irrigation manager, Dave Brown.

Judith's yard turned into a pond. Luckily, her home was spared. Her neighbors, she says, weren't as lucky.

Judith says one of her neighbor's homes flooded and ruined the bedrooms. Another neighbor told me the water got into his backyard and left about an inch of water in his basement.

Crews pumped water out of the area and removed broken sections of the cast iron pipe. A pipe Dave Brown says is at least 50 years old.

"It was used for a long time. It's really thick, really heavy duty, but it tends to be a bit brittle."

Water was cut off to homes in the immediate area. But, customers as far east as 32nd Avenue and south to Nob Hill Boulevard saw their pressure drop.

The city diverted water from another pump station so that Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital could get back up to full pressure.

KIMA asked, "Is this probably the worst break you've seen all year?"

"Yes, definitely," said Brown.

A break that has Judith and her neighbors doing a lot of mop up work.

Dave Brown with Yakima's irrigation services says your water might look rusty when you turn on the faucet. It will go away if you run cold water at full force for a little while. He says the water is safe to drink.