Thick mud covered several streets and properties in north Edmonton Monday as crews and residents continue to clean up from a water main break Sunday morning.
The rupture happened along 101 Street between 115 and 116 avenues, causing significant flooding in the area.
Edward Koehler said he was just finishing up breakfast Sunday morning when he turned around and saw water gushing down the street.
“It was getting bigger and bigger and bigger as time went on,” he said Monday from his property. “I’ve never seen anything — that size of a water main break before. It was very large. It covered two blocks basically.
“It was pretty crazy … our front yard was entirely covered in water pretty quickly. It went really fast.”
There’s no word yet on what caused the water main break. Emergency responders could be seen walking down the streets Sunday with water up to their knees in some places.
Koehler said he immediately ran into the basement to grab some sentimental items, including photos and glassware. He said his basement ended up flooding with about two feet of water.
“We now have to replace all of the walls in the basement and maybe the flooring, we’re not totally certain on that yet. We had to replace our hot water heater as well,” he explained.
Koehler said the water started to recede at about 3 p.m. Sunday.
“We were left with a lot of mud and guck. A lot of mud didn’t enter our basement because of the gravel that surrounds our house — it kind of filtered the water through,” he said. “We have a backup valve so the sewer didn’t come in, so that was a good thing… that’s what we were worried about.
“It was a long day.”
Koehler has spoken to a few of his neighbours who also experienced flooded basements. He said it’ll likely take him a few weeks to clean everything up and get the repairs done.
Barbara Aguilar lives on the street and was lucky that her house did not flood.
“We have some important things in the basement. We didn’t want anything to get damaged,” she said. “It’s just unfortunate for the people that did get flooded.”
Aguilar said most of her neighbours came out of their homes and watched as the water gushed through the area. While she’s happy the water dissipated, there is still some cleanup to be done.
“It’s really dirty over here,” she said. “It’s obviously really messy here. We have to clean it.”
Crews remained on scene Monday afternoon and Epcor said they are working as quickly and safely as possible to clean the area.
“Our cleanup is ongoing and will continue for the next several days,” a spokesperson with Epcor said.
“We can’t say for certain the cause of this break. We’re currently investigating, but it has not yet been determined. We can confirm that water has been restored to all customers at this break location.”
Epcor advised property owners who experienced damage to contact their insurance companies.
The cost of the damage is not yet known.