UPDATE: Repairs complete on broken water main in U-Med district

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — Update 7:15 a.m.:

All repairs are complete and water has been restored.

Update 4:30 p.m.:

Barbara Garner woke to a sloshing mess Sunday morning.

"It was definitely a Sunday morning surprise," she said, laughing.

Her security camera shows water from a broken main line pooling in her driveway around 4:30 a.m.

"And it keeps going like that until after six o'clock," she said, watching the footage on her iPad.

Living in her home on Roson Court for over 40 years, Garner says this has happened multiple times.

"They (AWWU) said one more, and they were going to tear the whole road up,” finishing her sentence with a shrug of her shoulders, mouthing 'I don't know.’

As residents in seven different buildings pumped water from their crawlspaces late Sunday morning, a second break ruptured in the same line. The repair crew divided into two to fix both ruptures, while water gushed towards an apartment complex … transforming the whole block into a small lake.

Anchorage Water and Waste Water Utility has a plan to rehabilitate aging sewer lines on East 42nd Ave to prevent sanitary overflows.

"That's an area in which we've already determined needs to have some replacement," AWWU’s Sandy Baker said. "So hopefully that will be coming down, because that's some cast iron in there and a lot of that needs to be replaced."

Baker says project design is taking longer than anticipated because of unstable soils and high ground water. It was also set back by the earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018. Baker says engineers are re-evaluating the project design, and hope to begin construction by summer 2021.

But Barbara Garner is not convinced the project can wait that long.

"It's coming out in such volume that it overwhelms us," Garner said, gesturing to the pooled water around her home. "It's now not going to be done from Lake Otis to Piper St. for at least two to three years. I don't know whether the AWWU will wait that long, because this is breaking."

Sandy Baker said AWWU dispatched a second repair crew to address the second rupture in the main line. That was around 2:30 p.m., and she said the crews would not leave until the ruptures were fully repaired. She also said the city was sending flood mitigation experts to help homeowners with damage resulting from the ruptured line.

Original story:

Anchorage residents in a neighborhood off Tudor and Lake Otis got a wet wake up call around 5 a.m. Sunday.

Anchorage Water and Waste Water Utility's Sandy Baker confirms they received a call from Anchorage Fire Department around 5 a.m. of a water main break leaking water into at least seven homes near 42nd Ave. and Wright St.

"We had to shut off valves to get the water to quit flowing, and we've brought in an emergency crew to replace the main," Baker said. "We've got mitigation coming out to help homeowners who got some water damage."

Baker could not confirm the extent of damage to homes. She did confirm however that AWWU has had plans in place to replace aging water lines in the area.

"That's an area we've already determined needs to have some replacement," Baker said. "We've got some capital projects slated for that area, so hopefully that will be coming down, because that's some cast iron in there and a lot of that needs to be replaced."

Baker says crews will likely spend the day draining water from flooded homes. She did not give a timeline on how long it will take to drain the water and replace the damaged main line.

This is a developing story.

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