Water woes were keeping emergency crews busy in Santa Barbara on Sunday with a sheared-off fire hydrant and several water-main breaks reported in and around La Cumbre Plaza.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the hydrant left the scene after the collision, Pigott said.
“A witness said that he got out of the car, took a picture, and then drove off,” said Pigott, who added that a witness gave a license number to police, who are investigating.
Fire and public works crews were able to shut off water to the hydrant, and the only damage was to a nearby planter, Pigott said.
About 90 minutes later, crews were called out to the 600 block of North La Cumbre Road for a report of a leaking water main.
It turned out there actually were three separate leaks in the area, and city public works personnel were called in to assess the situation and make repairs.
Water service was cut off to customers along North La Cumbre, and was likely to remain off for several hours, Pigott said.
Other affected streets included Calle Cita, Harold Avenue and Stacy Lane, he said.
The cause of the leak remained under investigation.
Pigott noted that “some neighbors said they heard a loud thump just before the leak began.”
That would support the theory that the line may have been damaged by a pressure surge known as a “water hammer,” he said.
Traffic on La Cumbre Road was shut down in the area after the leak.
“We were concerned that the flow of water under the street might cause a sink hole,” Pigott said.
Parts of the street remained shut down at midafternoon.
Asked whether the water-main break could have been connected to the fire-hydrant incident, Pigott said “it is possible, but I would just be speculating.”
Check back with Noozhawk for updates on this story.