Water main break causes flooding, home damage in Hutchinson

HUTCHINSON, Kan. A water main gushes for hours in Hutchinson Wednesday, flooding yards and damaging some homes.

The water is gone from the stretch of homes on Third Avenue in Hutchinson, but the water main break left a large sinkhole. Many people in the neighborhood are wondering how it happened and who's responsible for the damage.

For homeowner Mike Howard, there's no time to wait.

"I'm getting a mold infestation under there if I don't get it dried out," he said going over damage outside his mobile home. The siding of the home soaked from a water main break. Howard took photos as streets and yards flooded in his neighborhood.

"It was just flash flood everywhere, completely under water," he said.

Howard said the water was a foot high in some places. The inside of his home is untouched, but everything in his yard is ruined.

Jim Brummer with Hutchinson's public works department said the water got out of control because of the time it took to get to the valves. There were plugged storm drains, meaning the water had nowhere to go. It took crews two hours to find the valves underwater and stop the flow.

"Most of the time we get it shut down a lot quicker than the time took on this one," Brummer said.

Brummer said there was simply too much pressure in the pipe, something he says, just happens.

Whatever the cause of the water main break, Howard said he shouldn't be the one left to clean up the mess.

"It's their responsibility, not mine," he said> "I didn't do this damage."

Howard does not have insurance on his mobile home. The city says anyone with damage will have to file a claim with the city. As for the sinkhole, that's not expected to be fixed for another week or two.

***PHOTOS COURTESY OF MIKE HOWARD***