Water main break floods neighboring homes
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Several families are back in their homes after being forced out by a flood caused by a broken water main.
Almost a full day after about a foot of water seeped into the apartments on Northeast 77th Street Sunday, families have finally returned home to start the clean-up process. The water has since receded, but at its worst, the water covered a six-block radius and affected as many as 15 homes.
Residents had to be evacuated as crews tried to figure out source, shutting of various water valves in the area. They finally found the source under some trailers on a lot of land near 76th Street and Third Avenue. One trailer had partially sunk into the ground where the 36-inch water main broke, spewing millions of gallons of water into the neighborhood for three hours.
The flooding turned roads into rivers and left some residents' most prized possessions all wet and ruined. "A lot of people are losing a lot of property over this because whatever was on the floor or low in the room is gone," said one resident.
"Mildew is probably in the baseboards," said another homeowner. "We don't know if the refrigerator's any good or if the stove's any good. It could run into the thousands of thousands of dollars."
Fernande Francois wailed in distress at the thought of all she has lost due to the flooding. "Everything has water, water all over my house, all over my house," she cried.
Many families were forced to leave as the water quickly covered a six-block area. "No clothes, no nothing," said Belgerie Raymondvil. "We don't have no place to sleep, everything is flooded with water."
The water ran for so long because crews were not able to pinpoint the main until they jackhammered into the ground. Crews have brought in crane to lift one of the trailers in order to look into the hole left by the broken water main.
The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department believes the cause for water main break is simply an old pipe. "It's a pipe from the 1950s, so it's in excess of 50 years old," said Jennifer Messener. "Aging infrastructure is a national problem."
The county will send appraisers to the neighborhood on Monday to assess the damage. However, until then, those affected are putting in the hard work to get back to normal. "I'm just glad everybody was safe and everybody got out safe," said another resident. "We'll live through it, just like I say."
Water service has not been interrupted and never was. The problem now is the loss of personal property, which affects many renters in the area, many of whom did not even have renter's insurance. The Risk Management Department of Miami-Dade County has sent out representatives to the area to help those affected file claims for damage. They said they will cover up to $300,000 for the entire incident. So far, they have only received 15 claims. They ask those with flood insurance to file claims with their insurance company first.
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