Hyde Park neighborhood suffers 2 water main breaks and a gas main break

 Residents of Avenue H in Austin's Hyde Park area dealt with 2 water main breaks and a gas main break all in one weekend.

Tommy Ates lives on Avenue H in Hyde Park.  He turned his kitchen faucet on for us Sunday afternoon.   Water came out...but he said he wasn't sure how long it would last.

"I feel like we're in limbo.  What is the right thing to do," Ates wondered.

This all started on the cold and rainy Friday evening.

A water main break caused the nearby gas main to break as well -- resulting in the mandatory evacuation of 8 homes.

Avenue H resident Jacob Ross snapped a picture of the damage in the road that has since been fixed.

He says crews tried to evacuate his family Friday night but they were asleep and didn't realize what was happening until later.  Ross says they left the next day.

"Yeah it was an inconvenience, I'm kind of the philosophy 'stuff happens.'  We just kind of rolled with it, went over...luckily we have family to go stay with," he said.

A representative with Texas Gas Service says gas was restored to the area Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning, the water main broke again in a different spot.  Austin Water's Jason Hill says it was quickly fixed but now they'll try to figure out what happened to it.

"Age definitely could have played a factor, weather could have played a factor so our engineers will kind of look at the totality of the situation, they'll look at the different pieces of material that were taken from the pipe that was replaced," Hill said.

Hill says the water main break affected 40 customers each time it broke.

Ross says his home is back in order.

"Gas is working, water's working," he said.

Ates is worried this will happen again...if not on Avenue H, then possibly another nearby street.

"I don't think that my street, this street, Avenue H is unusual in the sense that we have the same infrastructure and if the infrastructure is the same that means it probably needs to be replaced.  So this could easily happen on the other avenues as well as other streets, at least in Hyde Park," Ates said.

Hill says maintaining the city's thousands of miles of underground water mains is a top priority.

"We have a program called 'Renewing Austin' which we're committed to spending $125 million over the next 5 years where we kind of ...we look at and we've isolated different areas to replace mains, aging mains that have reached the end of their life span," Hill said.

Hill says if they do have to replace the main on Avenue H, they'll give residents plenty of notice.

Texas Gas Service says they kept an eye on the water main break on Sunday to make sure it didn't hurt the gas line again.
The Gas Service says they've been going to each house helping them get the gas back in working order.  They say they have a few houses left to go on Avenue H.

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