SAN DIEGO — Northbound lanes of Interstate 5 in San Diego were closed Monday after a water main break flooded the key highway that runs through downtown, authorities said.
The pipeline burst Sunday evening and city crews shut down pipes feeding the area around 1 a.m. Monday, the California Highway Patrol said. But the highway, on- and off-ramps and surrounding streets remained flooded at midday.
“At this point, it is simply that the drains are overloaded,” said highway patrol Officer Officer Mark Latulippe.
The closure snarled traffic, causing major backups on several local freeways during the morning commute.
The ramp from southbound State Route 163 to north I-5 also was closed — shutting down a popular route to San Diego International Airport on the first day of the Thanksgiving holiday week, the Union-Tribune reported.
There was no estimate for when the interstate would reopen.
It was the second water main break in downtown within several hours on Sunday. Around 3:30 p.m. a pipe burst near the East Village neighborhood, flooding downtown streets, creating a sinkhole and inundating at least one business, the newspaper reported.
Water was shut off about three hours later.
City public utilities spokesperson Arian Collins said the first pipe that burst was a 24-inch (61-centimeter) transmission main made of reinforced concrete and steel. The second was a 16-inch cast iron pipe.
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