Broken water main floods downtown Escondido

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A water main broke in central Escondido early Tuesday, sending tens of thousands of gallons of water gushing through the streets and forcing a daylong closure of a downtown thoroughfare.

The 10-inch pipeline ruptured for unknown reasons under South Broadway at Third Avenue shortly before 4 a.m., sending 6,000 gallons of water per minute onto the streets, according to city officials

It took crews about an hour to halt the surging overflow, said Lori Rountree, Escondido deputy director of water utilities. Fixing the failed main took until about 12:30 p.m., she said.

No structural flooding was reported, but a nearby dental office did have to inconvenience its patients during the day.

"The only problem we had was with parking, we had to inform all  of our patients there was a situation going on and they would have to probably park a few blocks down the street," said Destany Eastep with the San Diego Dental Group.

The repair job necessitated blocking off South Broadway between Second and Fifth avenues and Fourth Avenue between South Kalmia Street and South Broadway. The latter closure was expected to last until early this evening, while South Broadway was likely to be off-limits to through traffic in the area until Wednesday afternoon.

The only address that was left without water service due to the mishap was nearby Central Elementary School, which was back on line by 7 a.m., Rountree said.

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