Water main break floods streets in N. Phila.

Workers try to clean up some of the mud after a huge water main ruptured in North Philadelphia early Friday morning.

July 9, 2010 3:58:16 PM PDT
A massive water main break turned a Philadelphia neighborhood into a watery mess near Temple University.

The 30-inch transmission main broke at 6:30a.m. Friday, affecting the area of 9th Street between Cecil B. Moore and Norris streets.

Some 10 million gallons of brown, muddy water gushed onto the North Philadelphia neighborhood.

Cars were half-submerged, and nearby residents were told to evacuate.

"They said 'You've got to get out of the house right now,' I said 'Why' and he said 'Look out your window," said Karen Williams. "I looked down and there was just water everywhere."

The rushing water caused the pavement on North 9th Street to buckle above the line of the sidewalk.

A crater could be seen in the middle of the street where the break occurred.

By the time pressure was shut off, the surrounding intersection was caked in mud and the water took a while to recede.

The interiors of several parked cars were ruined. Amazingly, one was somehow spared even though it was parked right near the scene of the break.

The water main will be repaired - it was installed in 1879. Authorities say heat, along with the old age of the pipes, likely contributed to the break.

No one was hurt by the rushing water.

As it turns out, the section of North 9th Street that was ruined was just re-paved two weeks ago.