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Water Main Bursts – Some Home Flooding in El Cerrito

A water main burst just before noon today, Tuesday, on Eureka Avenue at Clayton Avenue, sending a torrent of water down Clayton into at least one garage and possibly an in-law unit. If you have photos or video, please add them to the article.

A water main broke on Eureka Avenue in El Cerrito just before noon this morning, pushing up the pavement and sending a small flood of water south on Clayton Avenue where it soaked items in the garage of at least one home.

An in-law unit of another home on Clayton, where no one was home, appeared to have been flooded as well, according to neighbors.

Workers at the scene from East Bay MUD said the break – on the south side of Eureka just east of Clayton – happened around 11:30 a.m.

Police and fire units responded to the scene, placing sandbags, street barricades and yellow tape around the flood zone. Traffic continued to be partially diverted early this afternoon.

East Bay MUD workers had staunched the main flow within half an hour, though enough water continued to pour forth to form a fast-flowing, difficult-to-cross stream along the side of Clayton into a storm drain. 

East Bay MUD spokesman Charles Hardy said a 6-inch cast iron pipe ruptured, and that two customers are without water. The utility hopes to have the pipe repaired and service restored by around 8 p.m. tonight, he said.

"I looked out the back window because I heard water," said Clayton Avenue resident Penny Gancheff, whose belongings in her garage got a good soaking. "It looked about a foot deep in the backyard."

She said the water also appeared to have entered an in-law unit of the home next door. Residents of that house were not home.

"This happened a year ago, directly in front of our house," said Gancheff's husband Don.

Breaks in the old water mains in El Cerrito are not rare. A main burst in June at Ashbury and Central Avenues, between El Cerrito High and Harding Elementary School.

Today's break was two blocks from El Cerrito High.

Do you have any photos or video from the scene? You can add them by clicking the Upload Photos and Videos button beneath the accompanying photos.

Sare Sage November 07, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I heard a lot of water rushing underneath a metal plate that sits on our curb at around that time. My only thought was about where the water came from since it's not raining. I did not see any water on the street level. (Norvell at Lincoln)
Local Mom November 07, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Yep, we also heard significant rushing water under the grate in front of our home in the same neighborhood. Second pipe break within 3 blocks in a week - there was one at night on Everett at Lincoln last Monday. Hmmm.
EC Matt November 07, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Funny, I live near Everett and Eureka and we had a water main break on our street last week too.
Adam Henry November 08, 2012 at 04:20 AM
To those affected by the broken water mains, do yourselves a favor. If you have to call your insurance company DO NOT say it is FLOOD damage. It is WATER damage. A flood is a natural event that may not be covered by your home owner insurance policy. IT'S WATER DAMAGE!
Aurora Darrow November 08, 2012 at 07:13 AM
The water also ran down from Clayton and affected several houses on Albemarle street. I have posted two videos from the street and our backyard. They have enlisted the help of service cleaners to assess the damages remove excess water still inside crawl spaces and dry the insides of some of the garages.

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