84-Inch Pipeline Fails; Road Closed in Dallas - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

84-Inch Pipeline Fails; Road Closed in Dallas



    Dallas utility crews continue to work to repair a 7-foot water main that broke Monday morning at the corner of White Rock Road and Lawther Drive. (Published Monday, July 1, 2013)

    Dallas utility crews continue to work on a broken water main that turned a Dallas street into a giant wave pool Monday morning.

    The pipeline failed near the corner of White Rock Road and Lawther Drive, flooding roads and catching drivers and neighbors off-guard.

    City officials said the 2800 block of White Rock Road between Winstead Drive and West Lawther Drive would remain closed for at least one to two days. Temporary detours are being implemented.

    Dallas Water Utility crews will work nonstop until repairs are complete.

    Water Main Break Floods Dallas Streets

    [DFW]Water Main Break Floods Dallas Streets
    A water main break near 2800 West Lawther in Dallas sent water flooding into the immediate area near White Rock Lake.
    (Published Monday, July 1, 2013)

    The cause of the failure is not yet known.

    The water has receded from Winsted Drive, but silt remains from the flood waters. A water-line shows just how high the water got before the city could shut off the tap to Dallas' third-largest pipeline.

    Lynn Meyer cleaned up and hosed off his driveway after a wild wakeup call from police at his door. Officers warned Meyer about the nearby 7-foot pipeline burst that was flooding his garage.

    Water Main Break Floods Streets

    [DFW] Water Main Break Floods Streets
    Dallas Water Utilities says they are responding to a water main break near White Rock Lake.
    (Published Monday, July 1, 2013)

    "The garage was wet, the inside of the car was wet," Meyer said. "It got higher in the backyard, where this guy's car is."

    The driver of a once-submerged Honda said he was heading to work at the hospital, but never made it. He couldn't see that water was covering the raod because that area of Winsted Drive does not have streetlights, he said. Like others, he had to wade out in waist-deep water.

    "The second gentleman tried to drive out at 5 a.m.," Monica Ferguson. "It was still dark, not realizing. He obviously stopped when his car died."

    "It looked like this place was all flooded," said a 6-year-old girl, saying nearby ducks liked it.

    "They flew in and then they swimmed," she said.

    "It was like a lake, like a river flowing down this way," said Winsted Apartment resident Crystal Szoelloesi.

    It took crews more than two hours to isolate the problem in the pipeline, which flows from Jim Miller Road in South Dallas all the way to Belt Line Road in Addison.

    "It's a very important pipeline of ours," said Randy Payton, Dallas Water Utilities assistant manager.

    Payton said Dallas has other lines and water in reserve, so the break didn't affect customers.

    NBC 5 reporter Keaton Fox posted this video to Vine of the bubbling water from the break:

    Experts said hot dry weather, Texas soil and an aging infrastructure can be blamed for water main breaks.

    "The heat of the summer this time of year pulls moisture out of the soils, causes them to shift, the brittle pipes can't move with the soils so they break," said Devon Tiner, Fort Worth Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers president.

    Rachel Hayden, president of the Dallas branch, said she expects to see more water main breaks.

    "It's going to happen no matter what," she said. "You want to try and get out and replace those pipelines earlier before they break, because the disruption to your population is damaging."

    Water crews said the line that broke Monday was more than 30 years old. Four water main lines broke last week as summer temperatures began rising in North Texas.

    NBC 5's Kevin Cokley contributed to this report.