A water main burst broke windows at White Rock’s Coast Capital Playhouse Sunday. (Tom Saunders photo)

A water main burst broke windows at White Rock’s Coast Capital Playhouse Sunday. (Tom Saunders photo)

UPDATE: Two water main ruptures send glass, rocks flying in White Rock

‘Everybody just scattered’

A ruptured water main on Johnston Road sent shards of glass and rocks flying Sunday afternoon.

At approximately 2:00 p.m., a water main in front of White Rock’s Coast Capital Playhouse (1532 Johnston Rd.) was being pressure tested when it unexpectedly ruptured, twice within a few hours.

The burst shot rocks towards the main entrance of the building, completely shattering one double-pane window and doing extensive damage to both glass doors.

Dann Wilhelm, who’s directing this year’s pantomime, said a group of about 20-25 actors were in the lobby rehearsing lines when the water main erupted.

At first, Wilhelm told Peace Arch News Monday, he thought it was a heavy rainstorm blowing against the lobby windows.

“It was like someone turned a fire hose against the window,” he said, adding that the clear water quickly turned brown once it started to pick up dirt and rocks.

“It was getting worse. The next thing we know, one of the windows broke and it started shooting through and poking holes… We didn’t even have to say anything, we just looked up and then as soon as it started coming through the windows, everybody just scattered.”

Wilhelm said the windows above the door “caved in” after about six seconds from when he noticed what was happening.

“A few people got pretty wet, nothing too terrible,” he said.

He said the group went back into the theatre to continue rehearsing and finished at about 6 p.m., when a second water main rupture occurred.

“As I go out into the lobby, it’s looking pretty good. The restoration did a great job they were just cleaning up the glass… I hear this crackling sound and I thought for a second that he had dropped the glass and it had shattered. I turn and I see more water spraying back in the open windows. It looked like every more water than before because it just flooded the floor,” Wilhelm said.

The second rupture, he said, “spider webbed” a window between the main door and concession.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before, it was just wild. It happened so fast,” Wilhelm said.

In an emailed statement to PAN Monday, the city’s director of engineering and operations Jim Gordon said that both ruptures were caused by pressure testing.

“A subcontractor to Canadian Landscape and Construction Services (CLCS) was pressure testing the new water main in Johnston Road in advance of a finalized test this week when a fitting blew off. A second similar incident occurred a few hours later,” Gordon said in an emailed statement.

“CLCS has contacted Worksafe BC and is investigating these serious incidents. White Rock’s contract inspectors are also investigating whether the cause is related to defective parts or installation.”

Water soaked much of the carpet near the main entrance, and paint was chipped four-metres high on the back wall, which is approximately four-metres from the entrance doors.

Nobody was injured.

Gordon said in the statement that the new water main is not yet connected to the city system and will not be connected until it passes a formal pressure test, bacteriological test and final inspection.

City contractors are currently working on Johnston Road, from North Bluff Road to Russell Avenue, for the city’s Johnston Road streetscape project.

The stretch of roadway has been closed since Sept. 10, the city said the road will be reopened to traffic Sept. 21. However, a sign advising of the construction said the road will remain closed until Sept. 22.


UPDATE: Two water main ruptures send glass, rocks flying in White Rock

A ruptured water main sent glass and rocks flying in White Rock Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)

A ruptured water main sent glass and rocks flying in White Rock Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)

UPDATE: Two water main ruptures send glass, rocks flying in White Rock

UPDATE: Two water main ruptures send glass, rocks flying in White Rock

UPDATE: Two water main ruptures send glass, rocks flying in White Rock

Just Posted

Councillor Doug Elford. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Elford to join Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society as a director

Fellow Safe Surrey Coalition Councillors Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton will be re-appointed to the board

A cyclist stops traffic to allow a gaggle of geese cross the road. (Tino Fluckiger photo)
White Rock man asks motorists to be mindful of wildlife after close call

Impatient motorists drives into oncoming traffic

Big Splash water park is located in Tsawwassen. (submitted photo)
Big Splash reopens Canada Day with changes to keep the water park ‘safe for everyone’

Executive Hotels & Resorts has owned and operated the attraction since 2017

Elgin Park Secondary students rally for climate change outside of their South Surrey in 2019. (Nick Greenizan photo)
City of Surrey set to host online climate-action panel

June 23 Zoom event to include speakers, question-and-answer period

(Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey council moves to reduce parking along rapid transit corridors

This also targets rental housing developments in Rapid Transit Areas

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read