Many residents are still unable to enter their homes, and some business owners said street closures and construction have put a big dent in their bottom line.
Victor Agiv, owner of La.Va Cafe at 21st and South Streets, said business dropped about 30 percent in a week. He said he has counted thousands of dollars in lost supplies, and damage from the mud and water that filled the cafe's basement.
Still, Agiv said the city's response had been adequate.
"They cleaned it up pretty good," he said. "I'm just concerned when the street is going to reopen."
One block away, perched above what officials call a "washout" - not a sinkhole - Kathy Perini and Kim Millner's home is intact, but unlivable. Water filled the basement and much of the first floor, submerging the electrical box.
"It's difficult to be satisfied in a situation like this," Millner. He and his wife are staying with neighbors - and losing rent money while their downstairs tenant stays in a hotel.
"We're trying to work with the city," Perini said, but they have no guarantees of compensation, and their homeowner's insurance doesn't cover flooding.
It's not yet clear what caused the pipe to burst in Southwest Center City last week. Crews had already removed the burst portion of the water line, and on Monday evening they extracted another segment from the gaping hole in the street.
"You can see it's a sound pipe," Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug said as he surveyed the cast-iron plumbing. With no visible evidence of damage or weakness, he speculated that the break was caused by "an outside force or point of corrosion."
Neukrug was accompanied by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Mayor Nutter, who sought to reassure residents and business owners that they would keep close watch on the problem.
Crews were going through the underground pipes, measuring for movement. If any of the segments have shifted, Neukrug said, they may have to tear up more of the street and realign the pipes.
"It's like a nuclear power plant," he said. "If it moves a millimeter and then you fill in high-pressure water," there's going to be a problem.
Contact Jessica Parks
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