On Del Paso Boulevard in north Sacramento, it is reassuringly dry at noon on Friday. The only signs of a flood from a water-main break earlier in the week are four disaster cleanup trucks, orange cones, sand bags and the temporarily closed Hagginwood Branch Library.
Not so assuring are some seemingly new cracks in the road on asphalt that already looks to be in bad shape.
“We have a big can of sideways mess here,” says Woody Boyd, owner of a guitar-repair shop on Del Paso.
On Thursday evening, Boyd says he came out and painted some cracks in the road as a way to monitor them. He now points out the paint marks, located just in front of a pawn shop, and sure enough, the lines have seemingly expanded.
“Yep, they keep growing, we are not sure what is going on,” says the owner of the pawn shop, standing in a doorway cluttered with debris from the flood, including sand bags and cones.
Inside the store, workers are busy making repairs and the merchandise has been cleared out and interior lined with plastic.
“We got wiped out,” he says. “Even the computers got fried. We had water up to here,” he adds holding his hand knee high.
That was from Tuesday’s flood, when, a 20-inch pipe broke.
In an email, Jessica Hess, a spokeswoman with the Sacramento’s Department of Utilities, explained to SN&R, “that pipe was a prior repair [about 30 years ago] on a 68-year old cast iron pipe.”
She also added that “a second [smaller] break occurred [Thursday] on the original cast iron pipe. In both cases, we actually replaced the segment of pipe with a new segment of pipe. We are still looking at what might be causing this.”
Back on Del Paso Boulevard, this is not reassuring to Boyd. He has heard some city pipes are made from redwood, timber that is becoming quite old.
He walks up the street, past businesses with “Protect Sacramento” signs in support of firefighters and police officers.
Near Rio Linda Boulevard, Boyd points out the newly patched asphalt, put in place after the water-main break. He also points ahead to the middle of the road, just above where the pipe broke. There, a long stretch of Del Paso is noticeably darker than the rest of the road, and in the shape of a pipe.
“We hope [the city] is taking care of this,” he says. “We hope they aren’t just putting temporary band aids on the water mains.”