D.C.

ABC News bureau damaged by NW D.C. water main break

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A massive water main break in NW D.C. flooded a 30-foot exaction site and caused extensive damage to the ABC News Washington bureau. The water main was repaired by midnight and valves were back on with full water pressure by 5:10am Sunday.

The water main break flooded a construction excavation site. (Photo: Hatzel Vela)

The 20-inch main broke at around 4:30 a.m. Saturday and sent water gushing into the adjacent excavation at the construction site near Rhode Island and 17th Street Northwest.

“It’s an old line,” said George Hawkins, DC Water General Manager. “…installed in 1897.”

By mid-day, crews had drilled a couple feet underground to get to the main that needed to be replaced.

They also brought in sewer pumps to begin the process of removing the water from the excavation site.

A picture taken earlier in the day showed backhoes almost submerged in the water.

By midday, the construction equipment was completely underwater.

“You had some flooding down the street when it first happened,” Hawkins said.

The ABC News Bureau was one of the nearby buildings affected.

Workers shot video that showed water pouring from the ceiling.

“It started going into our second floor studios and most of our studios took a lot of water. We dropped a lot of ceiling tiles,” said Eric Olson, a facilities manager at ABC News.

“We just had every extra pair of hands we could…started moving everything out of there and we started just grabbing every trash can to start picking up water,” he added.

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