Water main break causes severe damage to several homes in Lake Hills area

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A water main erupted at the intersection of 160th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 12th Place in the Lake Hills area Sunday morning, inundating five homes with water and threatening several others.

The fire department and utility crews were called at 5 a.m. Sunday by a resident claiming major flooding.

"There was standing water in the garage, and a river of water flowing through the backyard," said Lt. Eric Keenan, spokesman for the Bellevue Fire Department.

Several homeowners experienced flooding in basements, yards or garages as a result of the break. Fire crews were able to successfully evacuate nearby residents from the rapidly flowing waters.

Wendy Hairfield, utility community relations manager for the city, said the break most likely happened for natural reasons, such as aged pipeline.

"It was just a naturally occurring break," she said. "Sometimes it happens when pipes are getting old. There wasn't any obstruction they could find."

Utilities crews dug up the street Sunday to replace a 10-foot section of pipe. Crews had to turn off water for 30 homeowners for the majority of the day while completing the repairs. Water was returned to homeowners at approximately 6 p.m. Sunday.

Hairfield added that this main had no history of breaks.

No one was injured, and no residents were displaced by the break, Hairfield said. The incident occurred in the proximity of Tillicum Middle School, but Hairfield said the school was able to avoid any damage from the main break.

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