Motorist Hits Exposed Pipe in Construction Zone Tuesday Night, Sending Thousands of Gallons of Water into the Air

Thousands of gallons of potable water were spilled Tuesday night in Long Beach when a vehicle was driven into a construction zone and struck an exposed pipeline connected to a water main, causing water to shoot out many feet into the air, authorities said.

Long Beach and Signal Hill law enforcement responded to Cherry Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway at about 11:30PM Tuesday, August 11, to reports of the water spill.

Officers initially believed a fire hydrant was hit by a motorist, causing water to disperse, but a further investigation determined the hydrant was intact and in fact an underground main water pipe valve was malfunctioning, Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokeswoman Megan Zabel said.

According to Kaylee Weatherly of the Long Beach Water Department, a motorist drove off the road and struck an exposed pipeline, known as a blow off stub out, where road work was being done, causing water to burst.

The incident sent water up to 40 feet into the air, Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Heflin said.

No injuries were reported.

The LBWD responded to the call at 11:40PM and shut down the water main by 12:15AM, Weatherly said.

About 10,000 gallons of water was lost.

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