Residents lose water again as 12-inch pipe ruptures for second time in 24 hours

Daniel and Darlene Cho
Daniel and Darlene Cho
Mike Normand
Mike Normand

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A water main break at a busy Honolulu intersection provided a dramatic show Sunday afternoon. For area residents, who already suffered a night without water, it was déjà vu. The same pipe ruptured less than 24 hours earlier.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply says repairs on the latest break should be completed -- and water should be restored -- before the morning rush hour. However, the traffic contraflow will remain in place until the road is re-paved, which could be Monday afternoon.

Water from a busted 12-inch main shot up several stories, and drenched pedestrians and motorists at the Kapiolani Boulevard-Date Street intersection.

"I parked the car and my wife was like, whoa, check this out. Do you believe that? The water was coming out. It was so powerful," Daniel Cho, witness, said.

Richard Hayes grabbed his video camera and captured the images from his apartment nearby. Daniel and Darlene Cho, a Deaf couple, also took video and say they had never seen anything like it.

"You should have seen it," Daniel Cho signed as his friend, Lorraine Suankum, voiced. "The water was all over. It covered everything and everyone. We finally, we had to get out of the way because we didn't want to ruin our camera."

The main first broke at about 7 PM Saturday. The repair work was completed Sunday morning. Re-paving of the road was in its final stage, when the pipe ruptured again.

"They're really nice guys, poor guys that are working in there," Mike Normand, area resident, said. "They're digging and getting wet, so they're doing a heck of a job. Just stuff happens because it gets old, you know."

Board of Water Supply officials say the cause of this break hasn't been determined, but the vibration from the paving equipment may have played a role.

Residents in two high-rises and about a dozen mid- to low-rise apartment buildings lost water. Normand's wife was less than thrilled.

"She had to take a sponge bath," Normand said. "That was kind of irritating. I'm sure she wasn't happy. Boys can get away with that, but girls seem to have problems with that."

Two water wagons are in place for affected customers -- one fronting the high-rise on Date Street and the other at the high-rise near University Avenue.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.