A aged water main burst underneath War Memorial Gymnasium on Maui, flooding gym offices and hallways and cutting off water for the surrounding sports facilities Thursday night, according to Maui County officials.
County work crews said the water main break was caused by someone hitting a fire hydrant in the Maui Lani subdivision at around 5:30 p.m. The crash blew a regulator which sent high pressure water through the system and overwhelmed the aging pipes beneath the gym sometime prior to 11:30 p.m.
The water then burst through the floor in one of the gym offices. County workers at the scene overnight said there was enough water flooding hallways and offices to fill an Olympic-sized pool.
Preliminary damage is estimated at around $200,000, but does not take into account water-damaged equipment. The water did not flood the gymnasium itself and the gym's basketball court remains untouched.
However, the burst waterline has shut down water service for the entire War Memorial Sports Complex, including the gym, the football stadium and the soccer and Little League fields. About 18 county employees who work in the gym offices daily also have to be relocated.
Earlier this year, Mayor Alan Arakawa had asked the County Council for the funds to design a new gymnasium and civic center because of rising maintenance costs of the 50-year-old facility.
County officials said, in an update at around 3:15 p.m. Friday, water was swept out of the facility and the parks department is in the process of getting quotes from businesses which specialize in drying out this sort of flood and water damage.
Water service has also been restored to a majority of the War Memorial sports complex. The only remaining areas without water are the gym locker and shower rooms and two office restrooms. The public restroom out in the front area of the gym, fields and stadium are back in service.
The public can still reach the parks permitting office by calling 270-7389.