LAFAYETTE (CBS SF) — Thirty-five East Bay Municipal Utility District customers in Lafayette were left without water after a 16-inch water main broke Friday afternoon, EBMUD officials said.

The break was first reported at about 4:45 p.m. in the 800 block of Reliez Station Road, EBMUD spokeswoman Nelsy Rodriguez said.

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Crews believe they have isolated the location of the break to 850 Reliez Station Road. Customers may be without water for up to 16 hours.

Lafayette Water Main Break

(CBS)

Their work has been made all the more difficult by the freezing cold.

“They’re soaking wet now and it’s freezing outside and they’re jumping in and out of ditches and operating really heavy machinery. So it does take a toll on our crews,” Rodriguez told KPIX 5.

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Reliez Station Road is shut down between Dianne Court and Olympic Boulevard and Beechwood Drive, where it connects with Reliez Station Road and all of Andreasen Drive are closed.

The pipe that broke was installed in 1949, Rodriguez said.

The break sent water cascading down Reliez Station Road and Snake Hill, where at least five homes have flooded backyards.

After the line has been repaired, EBMUD is warning residents to be prepared for more water to come rushing down the hill.

“We pump the water out, so we’ll drain everything and once we repair the main, we’ll flush the pipe again when the job is nearly completed,” Rodriguez said.

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