The break was reported before 8 a.m. near 45th Avenue and Perry Street. The water flooded into multiple streets.
Cars, yards and homes quickly became submerged. Many homeowners waded through knee-deep water, shoveled mud off of their sidewalks, and have flooded basements.
“That’s unbelievable. It feels apocalyptic,” said Lisa Bennett who lives right next to where the break happened.
The Denver Police Department said W. 45th Ave. to W. 46th Ave. and N. Perry St. to Raleigh St. are closed due to the main break on a 24-inch pipe.
“Fortunately, it’s rare that a water main break is this big and this destructive,” said Travis Thompson with Denver Water. “We do have these larger conduits that go through the community, kind of like a highway to move a lot of cars through. These pipes help us move a lot of water.”
Denver water said they had about 20 restoration crews out helping homeowners clean up.
“We want to get that water out of any homes that may have entered immediately and then we’ll work with them through the process after that,” Thompson said.
Denver Water asked people to avoid the area as they work to repair the break.
“I looked at the back and it looked like my whole entire backyard was completely flooded. Like there was a river coming through it,” Stacy Bramer said. “The water was coming through the foundation of the house.”
Denver Water said that the work will take several days. They have to pump out all the water, repair the pipe and then repave the road. Thompson also said water might be shut off to some homes during repairs.
“It was just gushing and gushing and gushing. Terrifying. Luckily, it didn’t get any higher. But the gushing didn’t stop for three hours,” Bennett said. “We’re literally watching the sidewalk crumble. I saw a tree just fall into the street because the soil underneath was damaged and flooded.”
Neighbors are now concerned about water quality.
Regis University said water on campus has also been shut off due to the water main break.
“Be aware that water is presently shut off on campus due to a major Denver Water leak a few blocks south of campus,” Regis shared.