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Water main break causes significant flooding, sinkhole swallows car in Salt Lake City

Posted at 6:57 AM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 18:49:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A water main break caused significant flooding, and created a sinkhole that swallowed a car in a Salt Lake City neighborhood early Tuesday.

The water main was broken at 1300 South between 700 and 800 East, according to the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities. Crews on the scene said the 16-inch pipe was most likely installed in the 1940's.

"It was shocking you know, you don’t expect this thing happening," said resident Jalil Reynaga.

Crews dig out a car that was sucked into a sinkhole caused by a water main break in Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning, May 3, 2022

Video shared with FOX 13 News by one homeowner at the peak of the flooding showed the water nearly up to people's waists.

One of the most shocking images was the video shared by the Salt Lake City Fire Department showing the car sinking into the sinkhole created by the break.

"The car was shaking back and forth until it got sucked up and fell in where it is right now," explained Reynaga, whose cousin owned the car.

Video below from the Salt Lake City Fire Department shows a vehicle falling into a sinkhole

Car swallowed by sinkhole in Salt Lake City

At least six homes suffered flood damage due to the break, with Reynaga's house taking one of the biggest hits.

"We were crying because we lost all of our stuff down there," said Reynaga.

Video of Reynaga's house showed water several feet deep, practically reaching the door handle to his room.

"Inside, it's crazy right now," Reynaga said. "It's flooded everywhere, you can't walk. The water is around my waist."

SLC homeowner flooding video after water main break

Crews spent hours working to drain the sinkhole and remove the car, which will now allow repair work to begin on the water line.

Reynaga, who has lived in the house his entire life, said he's never seen anything like the what happened early Tuesday. But the shock of the moment turned into relief as he knew his young cousin was safe after being in the house when the water poured in.

"She barely turned 3 months yesterday," he shared. "It was scary for a little baby, all the water coming up; and she was the first one to be up here."

Despite the rattled nerves, Reynaga said everyone is fine.

Salt Lake City utilities officials will pay for hotel rooms to shelter the families who were displaced by the break.