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Water main break causes major street flooding in Denver’s Berkley neighborhood

Water flooded basements, knocked down a tree and nearly submerged cars
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Posted at 7:01 AM, Apr 25, 2022

DENVER — A water main break caused major street flooding in Denver’s Berkley neighborhood.

A 24-inch water main failed Sunday morning, flooding Perry Street between West 45th Ave. and West 46th Ave.

Several feet of water covered the street, sidewalks and yards for at least one block from the break.

Water pouring out of the main entered homes, knocked down at least one tree and nearly submerged cars in some areas, according to Denver7’s Pattrik Perez who was reporting from the scene.

The break caused a large sinkhole to open up in the middle of the street.

Crews from Denver Water arrived on scene and worked to shut off entry points. They were eventually able to shut off the flow of water just before noon. The size of the main that broke made it more difficult to control, Denver Water said.

"Breaks typically are happening on our smaller water mains — six, eight, 12-inch water mains, and those ones are easier to get on the valve and isolate them in a much smaller area than some of these larger water mains like we see here today," said Travis Thompson, a Denver Water spokesperson.

A restoration crew on standby near the incident began pumping water out from homes as soon the water receded. At least one home's basement was completely flooded.

Jacob Parsell, a resident in the area, was awoken by the noise of the large main breaking.

"I think we heard something around 7:15 a.m. and I have a Nest camera on the front porch and it looked like that was about right. And then within like three or four minutes, the street was flooded," said Parsell.

Other Perry Street residents, Josh and Erin Maitlen, noticed something was off when their water pressure disappeared. Their basement was flooded and the couple is unsure if they will be able to stay the night in their home.

"We just tried moving stuff up from the basement. Just trying to save what we could," said Erin Maitlen. "We're not sure if we should sleep here tonight or go somewhere else, so we'll figure that out later today."

It's unclear what caused the main to break. The extent of the damage to property and infrastructure is unknown at this time. But Denver Water said they will be working with homeowners over the next weeks and months.

"Sometimes we may never know what the cause is. You know, there could be corrosion, movement in the ground. There's a whole slew of factors that can factor into a water main breaking like this," said Thompson.

Some streets in the area are closed to traffic as crews work to make repairs, the Denver Police Department tweeted. An estimated time on when repairs will be completed was not released.