Several streets in Phoenix CLOSED after water main break

Posted at 6:47 AM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 12:24:48-05

Crews are working to fix a water main break that has several Phoenix streets flooded. 

Phoenix police say a 12-inch water main break on 20th Street south of Van Buren caused flooding Thursday morning.

20th Street is closed from Van Buren to Monroe.

People should avoid the area until the problem is fixed. The intersection remained closed Friday morning for repairs.

Check current traffic conditions here.

Several residences were flooded, both inside and out.

"I was trying to see in the house what I have that I can just make it over to the car without getting my feet all wet," said Phoenix resident Eva Beavers.

Beavers front and back yard were filled with water after the break. She spent most of the day plotting how she would escape from her own front door.

"I do have some heels if worse comes to worse," Beavers laughed. "I don't know."

She is hoping to use her high shoes as a sort of stilt to walk through the standing water outside.

But, it was her home's high foundation that saved her from more severe damage. Her next door neighbors were not nearly as fortunate.

"I can only imagine waking up in the middle of the night and just stepping out of bed and just 'squish,'" said Michelle Harbaugh.

Harbaugh is the property manager for eight tenants who will be staying in hotels or with family for tonight and roughly five more days after that as crews work on fixing the water-induced damage. 

"We have a program that is under design now that'll replace some mains in that area," explained Assistant Water Services Director Troy Hayes. "So, these pipes are on our radar that are coming to the end of their life."

For now, Hayes said they will repair this pipe, not replace it just yet. 

"Just because a pipe is old, doesn't necessarily mean it's time to replace it," Hayes said.

Hayes said the city has an improvement program already in the works where they spent roughly $40 million every year on the 7,000 miles of pipes in the city. 

"It's difficult to kind of watch them all, but we do monitor the ones that are older," Hayes said. 

He said, breaks happen all the time, explaining that changes in weather are really when we start to see multiple breaks happening. But, Hayes said this area is experiencing higher breaks than normal, so they are paying close attention. 

Stay with ABC15 for the latest.