Tulsa Neighborhood Cleans Up After Big Water Main Break

Friday, September 2nd 2016, 1:45 pm
By: News On 6

Days after a water line break flooded some north Tulsa homes, some people still haven't returned.

The break happened Tuesday evening near Harvard and 32nd Street North; and as of Friday, many people living in the area are still dealing with the mess left behind.

The water line that busted is underneath a pile of rocks. It's repaired now, but when it broke, water was gushing out and filled a creek, which overflowed into some people's homes.

The damage is so bad some can’t even stay in their homes.

Sharon Phillips hasn't seen her next door neighbor for days after their homes flooded.

A 36-inch water line broke, sending water gushing through a creek and into a few homes.

8/31/2016 Related Story: Water Restored To TU Campus After Water Main Breaks Floods Tulsa Neighborhood

"It was scary. it was real scary," Phillips said.

Neighbor Al Foster said, "It was madness because, when the waterline broke, we never saw so much water come down through here.”

Foster said water got close to their home, but not inside.

Phillips was worried about the animals.

She said, "The chickens was all up in the trees and on top of tables and the BBQ pit."

City officials say the pipe was nearly 70 years old. They aren't sure why it broke, but when it did, people miles away lost water or had low water pressure.

It didn't take long for crews to get water flowing again, but the people whose homes flooded near the broken waterline could be looking at months of repairs.

Foster said, "They had five or six inches of water on the floor. That's a lot of water, and they have kids."

"I feel sorry for my neighbors,” Phillips said. “They need some type of help."

We checked with the City of Tulsa to see who is responsible for paying for repairs associated with the water line break. One of the city's attorneys said, under most circumstances, they're not liable unless the City knew the waterline had the potential to break ahead of time and did nothing.

City officials say that’s not the case with this waterline.

"At least they could help them get a motel room or something to pay for all of these costs. All of that water," Phillips said.

The City said neighbors can still file a tort claim and they will come out and investigate.

Cement will be poured soon, so neighbors can use the street again.