Wednesday, September 2 , 2015, 12:27 am | A Few Clouds 66.0º




Broken Hydrant, Main Breaks Make for Soggy Sunday

Emergency crews kept busy by several incidents in La Cumbre area of Santa Barbara

Fire crews responded to La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara on Sunday after a vehicle crashed into a fire hydrant, causing a large geyser.

Fire crews responded to La Cumbre Plaza in Santa Barbara on Sunday after a vehicle crashed into a fire hydrant, causing a large geyser.  (John Palminteri / KEYT News photo)

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol | updated logo 2:45 p.m. |

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 first incident occurred shortly before 9 a.m., when a vehicle struck a hydrant near Starbucks at La Cumbre Plaza, according to Capt. Bernie Pigott of the Santa Barbara Fire Department.

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.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




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