Neighbors gawk at giant hole in north Spokane | News
A broken water and gas line prompted the evacuation of about 20 homes in north Spokane on Monday afternoon. The force of a 12-inch water main breaking blasted a giant hole in the asphalt and fractured a gas line. Spokane Fire estimated the hole to be about seven feet deep. As neighbors were allowed back into their homes, all they could do was stare at the gash in their street.
Juliene Speck was sitting on her back deck when she heard her neighbor scream. She looked next door to see water gushing into their backyard.
“I wondered what they had in their garage with so much water,” Juliene said thinking back to the moment. Following that original thought, she walked out to the front of her own home along Houston and saw water erupting like a volcano out of the gash in the street.
Juliene was so concerned about her home she called her husband at work so he could rush home.
“He’s my rock,” Juliene described. “I didn’t know if it was going to hit my house. It skirted around my house though.”
Robert Speck said when he reached Francis and Belt, it was like the Columbia River found its way to Spokane.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. I’m surprised cars weren’t stalling in the water it was so deep,” Robert said.
Their 14-year-old daughter, Shaylee, was concerned for their three pets, Kitty Girl the cat, Sweet Pea the bird and Isabelle the dog. Shaylee had just taken Isabelle down the street prior to the burst. She was worried because the cat and bird were still in the house.
Next door to the Speck residence, Cliff Powell, had just put away his grandson’s stroller when his wife exasperated, “We have a flood!”.
“I thought she meant a flood in the house. I looked out the window and it was just streaming in the street. It looked like a volcano. I thought, ‘take the kids’ - up the street,” Powell said.
After evacuating, he was the ashes of his wife's father that were still in the home. A firefighter offered to go get them and when he did, he handed over to Powell a gold colored box sealed with a ribbon.
Following the evacuation, the water and gas lines were turned off. At this time there is no estimate for damage or what even caused the water main's rupture.
Caution tape still sections off the hole outside these neighbor’s homes. Years from now they can all say where they were when the water and gas line broke in the street where they live.