Hole opens up in Castro Valley road, sinking SUV

A water main break opened up a hole in a Castro Valley neighborhood.

A water main break opened up a hole in a Castro Valley neighborhood.

Photo: Alameda County Fire

A hole opened up in a Castro Valley neighborhood Wednesday morning, taking a car in with it.

It happened on Somerset Avenue, between Santa Maria and Redwood roads, according to the Alameda County Fire Department. The driver of the SUV was able to get out of the vehicle safely with the help of firefighters, the agency reports.

Even though it’s been raining all night and all morning in the area, the hole was caused by something else: a water main break. Video shared from by the fire department shows water gushing up out of the asphalt.

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After the vehicle was removed from the crumbled roadway, East Bay Municipal Utility District crews on scene began work fixing the water main break.

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A water main break on Somerset Avenue in Castro Valley caused flooding and a sinkhole that one vehicle got stuck in on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. Firefighters were able to help the driver exit the vehicle safely.

Media: San Francisco Chronicle

EBMUD first started getting calls of low water pressure around 8:15 a.m., according to spokesperson Nelsy Rodriguez. As of 9:30 a.m., there were 51 customers without water as repair work is done. At the time, there was no estimated time of completion.

"We really won’t know what we’re dealing with until we get into the ground and see what kind of repair is needed for it," said Rodriguez.

While other media reports referred to the situation as a sinkhole, Rodriguez says that characterization isn’t accurate. In this case, the water main break created pressure that crumbled the asphalt and pushed it upwards.

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And even though this specific incident didn’t appear to be weather-related, it put added pressure on public agencies responding to reports of flooding and accidents around the Bay Area.

"Somerset Ave closed from Santa Maria Ave to Redwood Rd. Reported broken water main… of all days…" tweeted CHP Castro Valley.

Read Alix Martichoux’s latest stories and send her news tips at amartichoux@sfchronicle.com.

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