Aging infrastructure to blame for water main break that caused flooding in San Francisco homes

Neighbors got a shock after 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon when a sudden burst of water from a broken pipe on Brunswick Street sent water flooding down the hill on Pope street, past parked cars and into some people's homes.

Several homes flooded as crews and residents were left mopping up the mess into the night. Some people said as much as a foot of water flooded their basement. 

"I just see the water gushing down our block and I'm like what the heck is going on?" said Brandon Farrelly, who lives with his mother on the 200 block of Pope Street, "One of our elderly neighbors, her basement got flooded completely. so we decided to help sweep out the water."

Police blocked off pedestrian and vehicle access to nearby streets as crews worked to divert the water away from homes and fix the leak. Crews wrapped up repair work about six hours later. An eight-foot section of cast-iron pipe was put in place. It's part of the transmission line from the Sutro reservoir. 

"A 12-inch water main broke. The water main is from 1933. We don't have an exact cause, but it's an old water main," said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesperson Will Reisman. 

Neighbors helped elderly residents mop up floodwater from basements as firefighters and public utilities crews rushed to the scene in response. 

Residents' belongings were water-damaged and covered in mud. 

"I own a party rental company so all the tables and chairs they all got a little water damage," said Jackie Zermeno, a resident on Pope Street.

Zermeno says her family had just had their basement redone after a previous incident of flooding. This time, they had about a foot of water inside.

Residents said this is the second time this street has flooded due to a broken pipe. 

"It was the same corner where we had the break before," said one resident Dan Richards, "It's something that needs to be I guess surveyed and make sure the problem doesn't become even worse."

SFPUC said no one lost water service from this incident. A crew will be back Thursday to repave the area along with inspectors who will check to see what other work may need to be done. 

Stern Grove was just flooded last month. SFPUC said that was from a broken air valve.