Photo: Jim Karst
By Beacon staff
A burst water main in N.E. Calgary sent one family scurrying to safety and left City crews scrambling to turn off the ruptured pipe Thursday afternoon.
Water shot over the roof of the split-level bungalow near Rundlehorn Dr. N.E. and 40 St., turned nearby streets into rivers. The 61-centimetre pipe burst around 2 p.m., gushing millions of litres of treated drinking water until crews were able to shut off the tap almost five hours later.
Local resident Jim Karst lives about one-third of a mile from the ruptured pipe. He rode his bike over to watch the spectacular geyser, which he estimated to be approximately 20 feet high, and said it appeared there was considerable damage to the garage.
“The split seemed to be four or five feet to the west of the garage. It (the water) was coming out in a sheet and shooting right at the side of the garage, right into the eaves,” he said. “It had taken the siding and all of the soffit off, soaking that part of the house thoroughly and shooting into the back lane.”
Karst says there was no water on Rundlehorn Dr., the street running in the front of the house, where a few emergency personnel were keeping an eye on the situation. A few dozen local residents were watching the scene.
The City and the fire department seemed to have the situation well in hand, says Karst, and onlookers weren’t expressing concern for their own homes.
City water services struggled to shut down the ruptured pipe using hand valves located a mile away. Water volume and pressure made it difficult to close the flow immediately.
City staff expect to inspect the pipe today to make sure there are no other weak spots ready to rupture.
In the meantime, the water has disappeared from nearby streets and life has returned to normal. The usually quiet neighbourhood hadn’t seen that much excitement in the twenty-plus years he had lived there, joked Karst.
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