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Water main break closes neighborhood street, school

by: COURTESY OF PORTLAND WATER BUREAU - Water Bureau crews worked in the freezing temperatures early Thursday morning, Dec. 12, to stem the flow of water from a burst 86-year-old cast iron pipe on Southwest Vista Avenue. The water main break forced nearby Ainsworth School to close for the day.An 86-year-old water main burst in the cold weather early Thursday morning, sending water down Southwest Vista Avenue and closing nearby Ainsworth School for the day.

Portland Water Bureau crews are repairing the 1927 cast iron water main on Vista Avenue between Southwest Elm and Spring streets. The pipe rupture has not caused any flooding damage, but water pressure to the area is affected. Southwest Vista Avenue is closed at Elm Street to all traffic except neighborhood residents.

The bureau reported that just after midnight Thursday, Dec. 12, an 8-inch cast iron main ruptured, causing water to flow into the street. Portland Public Schools closed Ainsworth School on Southwest Vista Avenue because the building had no water.

In Portland, the brittle cast iron water mains tend to break during cold times of the year. Water Bureau repair crews are called out to handle about 200 of these types of emergencies every year.