Four or five vehicles became submerged when water from a burst water main inundated an underground parking garage in Irvine. Photo via OnScene.TV

A ruptured water main sent more than 1 million gallons of water cascading onto a Newport Beach street Wednesday, inundating an underground parking garage, submerging about a half-dozen vehicles and knocking out power to an office building.

The break was reported about 1:45 a.m. near MacArthur Boulevard and Von Karman Avenue, according to Jennifer Manzella of Newport Beach police.

Crews from the Irvine Ranch Water District, which services the area, responded to the area and dug into the street to expose the damaged, 10-inch water main.

In the meantime, water poured down a nearby ramp and into the underground parking garage of an office building owned by Steven Craig, who said six vehicles were swamped — five of them his company vehicles.

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Craig said the building is equipped with a sump pump to combat flooding, but it wasn’t powerful enough to handle the hundreds of thousands of gallons of water that poured into the garage. He said an even bigger problem will be replacing the electrical equipment that was damaged by the flooding, knocking out power to the entire structure.

“The biggest issue for us is finding new gear to replace all that so that we can get this building powered back up again,” he said.

Craig estimated the cost of replacing the equipment could be about a quarter-million dollars.

He said he was “obviously disappointed, but I think the response by everybody’s been very good. we’re appreciative of that.”

—Staff and wire reports

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