The Philadelphia Fire Department received a call around 6:42 a.m. of a 48-inch transmission water main break at the intersection of 56th Street and Springfield Avenue.
“It’s one of the largest mains that the City of Philadelphia has,” Philadelphia Fire Deputy Chief Kamau Bright said.
Transmission mains are used to carry water to different parts of the city.
Philadelphia Fire Department Update:
Bright said as firefighters arrived on the scene, they rescued one resident from a basement apartment of a corner property.
“In total, five residents were removed and sheltered, and three properties were affected immediately,” Bright said.
SEPTA buses were brought in to provide shelter to those who needed to evacuate. All other residents in the area were able to remain and shelter in their homes.
Action News Update on Water Main Break:
The view from Chopper 6 showed the city neighborhood transformed into a temporary river.
Many of the cars on the block were trapped as crews worked to assess the situation.
The water main break also sent water gushing into nearby basements on the block.
Bright said when water gets into basements that could create issues with gas service so Philadelphia Gas Works crews responded to the neighborhood, as well.
Chopper 6 Video:
Residents should see water returning to their homes, but officials say the immediate priority is to help anyone who is still dealing with flooding.
“If there’s anyone who has significant amounts of water in their basement that needs to be pumped out, we reach those people first,” said Brian Rademaekers with the Philadelphia Water Department.
Crews Work to Make Repairs:
Resident Rick Burns, who has lived on the block for six years, was on his way to check his basement.
“I’ve never seen that much water on the block since I’ve been here,” Burns told Action News.
Darryl Simmons said he wasn’t surprised by what happened.
“This city is old. The houses are old. The pipes are old. The pipes were probably here before the houses were built over top of them. Everything is old. It’s probably time for it to be replaced. Nothing lasts forever,” he said.
Corey Davis Reports from the Scene:
Fire officials said they were not allowing people to walk through areas or retrieve their vehicles where the roadway became buckled or damaged until the Department of Licenses and Inspections could determine the safety of the block.
The cause of the water main break is still under investigation.
Drivers in the immediate area should expect delays.
More than a dozen schools within the School District of Philadelphia switched to virtual learning Wednesday due to no running water in their buildings.
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