BEND, OR -- Homeowners continue mopping up after a river of water rushed through several properties along NE 8th Street in Bend. Public Works officials say a 12" pipe failed at about 4:45 Wednesday morning, sending water up through the street and into homes.
Heidi Robles called 911 as soon as she realized what was happening. "I heard a really loud sound that sounded like really loud thunder and lightning and instantly I heard like what sounded like pouring down rain. And, I was like, ‘oh my goodness, it’s really raining,’ and I stuck my hand outside and there was no water coming down. I looked outside and there was just water flooding into my backyard. We came out front and water was just like a river pouring from the top of our driveway into my front door area."
She woke up her husband and called 911. "The lady I was speaking with asked if I had water in my house, and I said no. My husband came to me a couple minutes later and said ‘call her back, our basement - I’m watching it flood.’ There were a couple of police officers who came out and called the city in. The water ran for probably 45 minutes before it was shut off." Eventually, her basement filled with 8-feet of water and mud.
It didn’t take Robles long to realize her neighbor’s house was also flooding. "After about 10 minutes, I looked over and the water was at their front porch, so I called over there and woke them up. But, their crawl space is filled to about a foot below their floor. The guy from the city told me that we got the worst of it, that our basement kind of saved the people behind us. Because, 660 square-foot basement filled 8’ high of water would have continued on, but we stopped it." The city shut off water to their homes and 13 others in the area while Public Works crews made repairs to the water main.
Robles says she has no idea how much damage has been done, but she doesn't have flood insurance, and - because the water main break was on city property - her insurance likely won't cover it. A public Works supervisor says the city's risk management department and insurance company is already involved.
The cast iron pipe was installed in the late 1960s. According to the city of Bend, it broke due to its age and the rocky soil in which it was installed.
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to view a video.