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Homeowners left with flooded, muddy basements following Denver main break

Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 19:40:48-04

DENVER — Cleanup in the Berkeley neighborhood continued Monday after a main break Sunday morning and flooded multiple homes, leaving behind a muddy and costly mess.

Josh and Erin Maitlen allowed Denver7 to tour the basement of their home on Osceola Street, just one street over where the break occurred.

The ground was covered in broken glass, debris and a ton of mud. The mud was also on the ceiling, showing just how high the water got the day before.

"We just tried moving stuff up from the basement, just try to save what we could," Josh said Sunday.

The couple was too tired to talk on camera Monday, but other homeowners were ready to share their frustration and exhaustion.

"It's hard for me to think about having to go back to work tomorrow ... when I don't even know where I'm going to live," Stacy Bramer said.

She watched in disbelief Sunday morning as water poured into her basement. At one point, her front lawn looked like lakefront property.

"I think some of it came through the ground and then some of it came through this door," she said.

She worries what all of this will do to her home of nearly two decades.

"I think the floors are ruined completely from underneath, and there's no point in replacing the floors if the foundation is ruined, too, because it was an unfinished basement and a lot of dirt was coming out," Bramer said.

On Perry Street, where the break happened, Denver Water crews were hard at work Monday afternoon making repairs. It may take days before they're out of the area.

"I don't know when is the last time that we had something like that because of the magnitude of it. It's rare, to be honest with you," spokesperson Jose Salas said.

Just down the street from the main break, Rose Gonzales watched as her pick-up truck, which won't turn on, got towed to give crews more room to clean up the several feet of mud.

"Our crawlspace is completely flooded. They're trying to get all the water out now. The carpet's destroyed. Probably the hardwood flooring [as well]," she said.

She, like others, is banking on Denver Water picking up the tab. So far, that hasn't been a tall order.

"John [with Denver Water], that came by, he made me feel really good that Denver Water will take care of us," Gonzales said.

According to brochures given to homeowners affected by the water main break, Denver Water, through its No-Fault Main Break Assistance Program, will pay for temporary lodging, water mitigation and even the deductible for those whose cars were damaged.

Salas says the agency doesn't know yet what caused the main break, but the pipe's age, the material it was made of and the below-surface temperatures at the time could have played a role.