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.
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