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Water main break closes off street and results in school closure

SOUTHWEST HILLS — Portland Water Bureau crews responded to a main break on Southwest Vista Avenue between Southwest Elm Street and Spring Street in the early morning hours of Dec. 12.

Just after midnight Thursday, an 8-inch cast iron main installed in 1927 ruptured, causing water to flow into the street. Water in the pipe had been shutdown. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: PORTLAND WATER BUREAU - Crews work to repair a broken water main near Ainsworth Elementary School.

Though no flooding damage has been reported, water pressure was affected in the immediate area.

Vista Avenue, a residential street, between Elm Street and Spring Street was closed except to local residents. Traffic has been detoured around the work zone.

Crews are on scene until work is completed.

Ainsworth Elementary School, located at 2425 SW Vista Ave., was closed for the day due to lack of water.

“In Portland, cast iron water mains tend to break during the colder times of the year,” the Water Bureau said in a prepared statement. “Cold water can cause pipes to become more brittle. Adding cold air temperatures at or below freezing can cause the ground above a pipe to freeze, thereby increasing external stress on a pipe. Temperature can be just one factor in causing a main break; the age of the pipe, soil conditions, pipe corrosion and ground movement can cause a main to weaken over time and break.”

—Additional reporting by Brent Weisberg of KOIN 6 News, a Pamplin Media Group broadcast partner.