Cleanup Begins On 61st Street After Water Main Break

Monday, December 17th 2012, 9:47 pm
By: News On 6

The clean-up has begun following flooding from a massive water main break in south Tulsa Monday.

The raging water took over multiple backyards in a nearby neighborhood and even got inside one man's home.

It was been a very long day for the city workers who are still working to repair the break.

It was also a tough one for business owners and homeowners, whose places were taken over by the flood water.

Blossom Child Care Center shared surveillance video exclusively with News On 6, showing the moment water started to fill the street.

In less than two minutes, the street and parking lot were completely flooded.

12/17/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Water Main Break Floods Neighborhood On 61st Street, Prompts Evacuations

A couple minutes later, the water made its way to the day care's playground and then to the nearby neighborhood where Mark Rodden lives.

"It was not a good thing. My wife just cried. She was pretty shook up," Rodden said.

The water rushed through Rodden's backyard, knocking over his fence.

"[It] moved my Jacuzzi around, washed all my logs for the fire all the way out to the street, so I guess it was pretty powerful," Rodden said.

Burggraf Restoration was busy ripping up carpet, moving furniture and drying out his home Monday afternoon.

"When I got here it was all wet and muddy. Everything was muddy. The tiles' white, which are now brown," Rodden said.

The City of Tulsa isn't sure what caused the 48-inch line to break.

"This being such a large piece of pipe, getting those materials together is going to take us a little bit longer than what it typically would on our normal breaks," said Tulsa Water Distribution Manager Rick Caruthers.

"I did call the City of Tulsa," Rodden said. "They didn't seem to think it was their fault, so I'm glad that my insurance is going to help us or I'd really be in trouble."

Rodden said this couldn't have happened at a worse time. All his Christmas presents were also in the water's path.

"All the gifts over there were on the floor, so … everything was muddy," he said.

Rodden said he and his wife plan to stay in a hotel until the house is completely aired out.

The stretch of East 61st Street, between Mingo and Memorial is expected to be closed until Tuesday evening.