Car hits fire hydrant, causes massive flooding

Published: Jan. 1, 2018 at 7:08 PM EST
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A car hit a fire hydrant and caused a messy New Years’ Eve for some residents in the Carriage Hills community.

The accident happened Sunday evening on Tally Ho Drive in South Bend. Nobody in the car was hurt.

Gallons of water poured into the street, creating icy conditions on the already frozen road.

Inside one home, a family was preparing for a New Years’ Eve party. But that was all halted when the water crept into their garage.

“We tried to block a little bit of the water but that didn’t really help,” said resident Marco Bautista. “Water kept pulling this way and started damaging the walls and discoloring them.”

Director of South Bend Utilities says they’ve had roughly 10 water main breaks this holiday season alone, which has kept crews very busy.

The flooding went on for a few hours before utility crews were able to shut the hydrant off.

Now, an icy road remains.

“We didn’t think it was going to our house,” said Bautista. “But then it started entering the garage and flooding everything.”

Crews spent hours getting the situation under control, then went door to door to make sure everyone was okay.

“Yesterday, we got a call that a hydrant had been hit out here on Tally Ho drive,” said Director of South Bend Utilities Al Greek. “Our crews showed up and the hydrant was actually blown off the pipe, so we had a full six inches of water coming out of the ground, which is thousands of gallons a minute that were boiling out onto the ground.”

Now, the Bautista’s are dealing with more than just a wet floor.

“Water kept pulling this way and started damaging the walls,” said Bautista’s. “It went all behind the sofas.”

Residents affected in the Carriage Hills community were advised to boil their water for 72 hours to make sure there are no toxins in the water.

Greek says it’s very difficult to crews to find the water main’s during snowy weather.

When the ground is covered in snow, they have to use metal detectors and maps to find the main valves, and once they find them, they have to dig them out and turn them off.