Major water main break in North Philadelphia floods basements and damages several cars – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A massive water main burst in North Philadelphia occurred just before 7 a.m. Thursday, near the intersection of 4th Street and Berks Street, on West Hewson Street. Officials say the 20-inch main gearbox has broken. He is over 100 years old.

The water was successfully blocked, but not before flooding the street and the basements of some residents.

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Crews continue to pump out thousands of gallons of water. When the water receded, we finally saw a huge hole formed as a result of a water main break.

Before looking out the window, Anna Outkin and her friend tried to take a shower, but no water came out.

“I thought, ‘Oh, our landlord forgot to pay his water bill.’ And we open the windows, and she’s like, “Anna, you have to get up.” And it was completely flooded. I think like a couple of feet of water,” Oatkin said.

Seven basements were flooded, several cars were flooded, including Harry Herman’s SUV, which crashed onto the road.

Large water main burst floods street in North Philadelphia

“I was getting ready for work. I turned a corner and saw the water rising. I went in reverse, and the road gave up,” Herman said.

John DiGulio of Philadelphia Water says the broken power line dates back to 1893.

“An 1893 car isn’t necessarily that old,” DiGulio said.

According to Maria Orona, going for a morning walk, she saw how water gushed out of a small pothole literally 10 seconds later.

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“Of course I was angry. I was upset because I called the Department of Water Resources on Monday,” Orona said.

She says that day that there was not enough water pressure in her house. She says the worker came late Monday night and told her they would make a note to come back and check under the street.

“If we call to complain, it’s because we’ve been here long enough to know when something’s wrong,” Orona said.

The Philadelphia Water Department says they are looking into Orona’s phone call on Monday before commenting on her criticism.

According to daughter Orona Genesis, they faced a lot of uncertainties.

“Now everyone is in the city. We can’t do but so much. We can’t wash the dishes, I can’t wash my son’s bottles. He can’t shower tonight,” Genesis Agosto said.

There are still a lot of pieces to collect.

The clothes that were in the basement, winter clothes, were gone. The hot water boiler is gone. They do not understand and do not realize, because after that they go home. They take a shower, take it all off. We walked this morning and we still have dirt on our feet and stuff,” Agosto said.

Another resident, who was uncomfortable talking to the camera, said that his wife is an artist and her work, which was in the basement, is all ruined.

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Brandon Goldner and Siafa Lewis of CBS3 contributed to this report.