Water main break leaves family with mess on Christmas

December 26, 2011 4:32:27 PM PST
Well we may not have had a white Christmas, but one Pasadena family certainly had a wet one. A water main break on Zapp Lane near Austin sent a towering geyser of water on top of the family's home.

It had all the elements for a near disaster. A water main broke late on a weekend night and on a Christmas night, so no one was answering at Pasadena Public Works department. It took nearly six hours for the gusher to be tapped.

The day after Christmas at the Rocha household was filled with unexpected cleaning after the couple was rousted from bed by what they said sounded like a natural disaster.

"With the front door opened, I couldn't see anything, the water was coming down so thick," Eddie Rocha said.

A water-filled pit in front of their home is the aftermath of a geyser. For about six hours, a giant water main break had been directed at their house.

The Rochas snapped some photos as they waited for help from city officials. Eddie's wife, Terry Rocha, said they called the Pasadena Police Department several times.

"The third time, he said I told you not to panic so they hung up, so the fourth time I called, they said ma'am this is not a matter of life and death," Terry Rocha said.

The main was repaired around dawn, but the cleanup of the mud continued into the morning.

The Rocha's home appeared in tack and there was no serious damage. Terry Rocha's nerves, though, are another story.

"It was just horrible. I'd never seen anything like this before," she said.

Terry Rocha is a volunteer for the city and its police department, so even though she didn't want to ask for special treatment, she was still surprised by the city's reaction and she and Eddie wish the city could reassess how it deals with its residents.

"To pay more attention to folks that might be in distress," Eddie Rocha said.

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