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Water main break floods California city blocks

December 25, 1998
Web posted at: 3:15 a.m. EDT (0715 GMT)

LONG BEACH, California (CNN) -- A 30-inch water main ruptured late Christmas Eve, flooding a 12-block radius with hundreds of thousands of gallons of water and possibly causing damage to several buildings.

Keith Stuart of the Long Beach Police Department said a water main broke at about 9:30 p.m. PT (12:30 a.m. ET) underneath the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Residents of the area were being evacuated because officials feared that many of the buildings in the area might have suffered structural damage from the weight of the water.

Several sink holes were beginning to develop in the area, according to Stuart.

An official at the Long Beach Department of Water and Power said residents of the area are without water while crews try to stop the water from flowing from the broken water main.

There were no reports of injuries.

Employees of one store could be seen using sandbags to try and keep water from flooding the store.

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