Massive water main break floods Philadelphia streets

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018
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Action Cam video of water main break in Center City on July 3, 2018.

CENTER CITY, Philadelphia -- Several streets in Center City Philadelphia were completely submerged after an early-morning water main break sent millions of gallons of water across the area Tuesday.

The gushing water has left behind a muddy mess and damaged streets, and the city says the following streets will be closed until further notice:

-Sansom from Broad to 13th

-Juniper from Chestnut to Walnut

-13th from Locust to Chestnut

-12th from Chestnut to Locust

-Walnut from 11th to Broad

The Philadelphia Water Department says a 48-inch transmission main built in the 1920s broke in the area of Sansom and Juniper streets around 4 a.m. It left streets in the area looking like raging rivers, and the department says it lost 14 million to 15 million gallons of water.

Crews worked for hours to shut off valves and stopped the flow. The Philadelphia Water Department announced the main was shut down around 7:40 a.m.

Officials say it took a lot of work to get it done.

"Each one takes a few hundred turns, a couple of people need to be operating on it," said John DiGiulio of the Philadelphia Water Department.

Water department commissioner Debra McCarty says a recent inspection using technology that goes inside the pipe turned up no problems. She said she didn't believe the recent heat was a factor.

It will be days before it is all cleaned up, DiGiulio said.

Commuters are urged to avoid the area and find alternate routes.

SEPTA has several bus detours in the area of the break.


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