Large water main break closes streets in N. Philly

Water flows down Front Street in North Philadelphia after a water main broke in the street early Wednesday morning August 1, 2012. ( ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )
Water flows down Front Street in North Philadelphia after a water main broke in the street early Wednesday morning August 1, 2012. ( ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )
Posted: August 02, 2012

A water main break, the third in the city in 11 days, is causing havoc in North Philadelphia this morning, flooding streets around Front and Tioga Streets.

Officials have closed the streets in the area to traffic.

Reports of the main erupting started coming in about 7:45 a.m. as water gushed south along Front Street, flooding nearby basements and leaving a gaping hole in the street.

John DiGiulio, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Water Department, said it appears a 48-inch main broke under the street.

DiGiulio said crews were sent to the scene and had to turn off water service to neighboring residents and businesses.

He said he believed water service should be restored by later today.

The cause of the break is not yet known.

Two previous water main breaks in the last 11 days have sent millions of gallons of water gushing into city streets - and the Water Department into overdrive.

The first occurred July 22 at 21st and Bainbridge Streets in South Philadelphia when a 48-inch main burst, inundating streets and basements and gouging a crater in the street.

Crews are still working to repair damage from that break.

Then, on Sunday, an eight-inch main burst Sunday at Willits and Ashton Streets in Northeast Philadelphia. That break was quickly repaired.

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