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Water Main Break Floods Church Charity

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Staffers watched as water poured into the Hispanic American Mission flooding the basement, the waiting room and several offices. Staffers watched as water poured into the Hispanic American Mission flooding the basement, the waiting room and several offices.
The mission's van was nearly swallowed by a large sinkhole caused by the water main break. The mission's van was nearly swallowed by a large sinkhole caused by the water main break.
It is unclear what caused the main break. It is unclear what caused the main break.

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A water main break caused streets and buildings to flood in Oklahoma City, west of downtown near 3rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Thousands of gallons of water poured out into the streets and into the Hispanic American Mission on 3rd and Penn.

"They were all busy and one of the clients walked in and said, ‘there's water outside,' and they thought it was a small pipe," said Elizabeth Coker with the Hispanic American Mission.

Coker runs the mission with her husband and some support staff. She said the rushing water flooded the basement and drove administrators out of the premises.

"Water was just bubbling out of the ground at about one or two feet, even more than that. The whole waiting area and at least three of the offices were flooded," Coker said.

As staff worked to clean up inside, outside the water flowed unabated causing a sinkhole, which nearly swallowed the mission's minivan.

Line Maintenance workers pulled it back from the brink and pumped out the water. Finally workers found the source of the break in a 20 inch pipe.

It is unclear what caused the pipe to split open, but Oklahoma City utilities spokesperson Debbie Ragin said she blames it on the summer spike in consumption.

"We're pushing a lot of water through the pipeline, the higher than normal pressure and more than usual," Ragin said.

Water was restored to nearby residents Monday.

Staffers at the mission said it should take about a week to clean up inside the building.

City officials said the heat could also be to blame for the break. The dry soil could have shifted and caused damage to the line.

No injuries were reported.

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