Pipe Rupture Floods Part of Dallas

Tuesday, September 5th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) — Commuters on Tuesday found flooded streets and some cars underwater downtown after a construction crew accidentally severed a 30-inch water main in this drought-stricken city.

Members of a hazardous materials team had to help retrieve submerged automobiles from a parking garage and other areas where millions of gallons of water were estimated to have flowed from Monday's break. It also prompted the evacuation of an apartment building in a section of downtown Dallas.

No injuries were reported. But residents of the swamped apartment building were evacuated overnight as a precaution.

Several downtown blocks remained closed Tuesday as water was pumped out of the area.

A crew drilling more than 30 feet below street level to install fiber-optic cable penetrated the 30-inch water line, city water utilities director Terrace W. Stewart said.

The water line, owned by Dallas Water Utilities, was shut off a few hours after the break.

The leak happened as Dallas endured another day of stifling heat. It hit 111 degrees Monday — the highest reading recorded in the city in September. The city has not received any measurable rainfall in more than two months.

No damage estimates were immediately available.

The Earle Cabbell Federal Building lost electrical power and was partially flooded by water that soon filled surrounding streets. In another building, water flowed through first-floor windows and broken glass doors.

An underground parking garage below the Santa Fe Terminal Lofts apartment building was flooded with 12 feet of water. About 30 cars in the bottom two levels were at least partially submerged.

``It was rising about an inch or two a minute,'' said Asa Cloin, whose car was lost in the garage. ``There's a big drain in the bottom of the floor and it was coming up like a geyser.''

Also flooded were the A. Maceo Smith Federal Building and a vacant storage building.