Bethesda water main break affects 32 homeowners

BETHESDA, Md. (WJLA) – Zero water pressure wasn’t the primary concern for Bethesda resident, Tammy Jensen, when there was a water main break in her neighborhood on Wednesday.

Jensen, who cares for 98-year-old Harry Whitman, worried more about inaccessibility.

"if we needed to get him to the doctor, and he needed to be transported or moved or anything, I guess I'd be driving my truck across people's lawns," she said.

By mid-morning on Wednesday, workers started digging to repair the 10-inch cast-iron service pipe that had burst – likely due to old age, according to the WSSC. It was installed back in 1956.

“Someone said, ‘Oh no, it's a water break down at the end of Flemming,’ and I thought, ‘I live on Flemming,’” said homeowner Sharon Doner Feldman. “So I came outside and water was rushing down the street."

WSSC maintains 5,600 miles of drinking water pipes across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. And although Wednesday’s rupture was just one of the 1,700 it handles a year, longtime residents say this particular disruption is a first for Flemming Avenue.

"I hope when they come back home it will clear up everything and things are back to normal,” said Anowar Hossain.

Fortunately, it was a hope that panned out for these 32 homeowners around 4 p.m. on Wednesday when workers removed the non-functioning pipe and put in a new one. Then, they recharged the main.

The roads will still be closed tonight as repaving begins tomorrow morning. It could take a few days to a week.