About 13 million gallons of water surged down the streets of northwest Philadelphia Thursday afternoon after a 48-inch water main broke, according to reports. The incident took place at a parking lot of a busy shopping center and forced at least 100 people to evacuate the area.
The Philadelphia Water Department received a call around 2:45 p.m. on Thursday about the bursting of a pipe at the intersection of Fox Street and Roberts Avenue, according to 6 ABC. John DiGuilo, a spokesman for the department, said the pipe that ran through the parking lot of Bakers Square ruptured and damaged nearby railroad tracks used by the company CSX Corp., Reuters reported Friday. He also said that about six businesses, which had to shut down for cleaning due to the flood, were expected to reopen on Friday.
“All of the sudden the water is flooding and it came very, very fast," Kal Rotbard, who works at a clothing store in Bakers Square, told NBC 10. The flood water reportedly drowned most of the cars in the parking lot.
Firefighters managed to cease the water flow after over an hour, according to NBC 10. They used an inflatable raft to help people, including customers and employees at the shopping center, to evacuate the area, Reuters reported.
This is the second such incident in Philadelphia within a week. On Sunday, a 36-inch water main broke in west Philadelphia, the Associated Press reported. An estimated 12.5 million gallons of water gushed out on the streets and into the homes of a few families. It also reportedly damaged parked cars.