Early morning water main break causes flooding and road delays

A water main break caused flooding and road delays for Burbank motorists early Saturday morning as utility crews worked to repair the broken pipe and road surfaces undermined by the flood.

Crews were called to Olive Avenue and Niagara Street at 1 a.m. after a six-inch cast iron pipe burst underground, causing water to flood Niagara Street and flow toward Alameda Avenue, said Kevin Mitchell, water maintenance and construction superintendent for Burbank Water and Power.

Niagara Street was closed between Alameda and Olive avenues late Saturday morning, and just one lane of Olive Avenue was open in each direction between Alameda Avenue and Niagara Street.

Officials expected the closures to continue through Monday as utility workers make repairs.

“Laying pavement in rain just doesn’t work very well,” Mitchell said.

Late Saturday morning, six businesses were without water, Mitchell said, adding that he expected the water to be turned on within a few hours.

No injuries were reported.

Mitchell said the utility sees an uptick in main breaks when the weather gets cold.

“Temperature swings will crack the metal – it’s a problem everywhere, not just Burbank,” he said. “Our utility has a very low leak rate compared to other utilities in the area and region.”


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.


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