Water main break causes sinkhole in Bladensburg

Some residents in a Bladensburg neighborhood were awakened by the sound of rushing water invading their homes in the middle of the night after a water main pipe broke. It caused some terrifying moments for one family as they tried to leave their home as their car was swallowed up in a sinkhole.

The family was able to escape the car before it went under water.

Water service has been restored to the 77 homes that were without it today, but it is an event they won't soon forget.

As crews worked to repair the broken water pipe on Edmonston Road, one family looked on in disbelief.

Jose Alfredo Vasquez says he heard a loud noise and saw the water coming into the house and knew he had to get his family out.

Some of them raced to the car to drive away, but they quickly realized the car was sinking.

A woman told us they all jumped out quickly, and the moment they got out, the car went under water.

Seven-year-old Maynor Mendoza was in the car too.

"I thought the car was going deep down," he said.

"It is a time of year where we have a lot of breaks," said Jerry Irvine of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. "We have had over 400 breaks already this year."

This one he says was especially bad because of the type of break it was.

"This was a split break, broke along the length of the pipe, blew out debris, asphalt, road -- swallowed a car," Irvine said. "Water didn't have anywhere to go. It did lot of damage."

The pipe that broke was 90 years old. Irvine says there is a plan in place to replace old pipes, but it is a very big, very expensive and time-consuming task.

"We are fixing 55 miles of water main per year," said Irvine. "We have 5,500 miles of pipe in the ground, so it is a 100-year replacement cycle."

Irvine says the displaced family will be put up in a hotel for the next week as crews repair the damage caused by the break.

Edmonston Road between Decatur Street and Chesapeake Road will be closed overnight.

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