Water main break floods Northeast Philadelphia intersection

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A water main break in Northeast Philadelphia flooded an intersection and forced the evacuation of some nearby businesses on Tuesday morning.

The eight-inch water main broke around 7:30 a.m. in the 3100 block of Willits Road.

The water gushing from the broken main the flooded the intersection of Willits and Holme Ave.

Thanks to the cold air outside, the water that gushed from the broken main started to freeze, prompting a quick response with salt trucks.

Mutassim Ismail said he was inside the Islamic Center for prayer when the water main broke.

"It's scary. When we got down the water was already inside the building and the police officer told us to come out, out, out. Evacuate the building," Ismail said.

He knows he's lucky his car didn't wind up down in a hole, submerged in the ice-cold water.

"A few feet back and, oh my God the car would be done," he said. "It's too cold, you see the water is freezing right now. It's too cold."

Several streets in the nearby area are closed and the water department says they'll remain closed until the eight-inch pipe is fixed. That could take the rest of Tuesday.

"We'll have to do a full assessment of what's broken underground. Once we see that we'll know what repairs we'll have to make to the water main," said John DiGiulio of the Philadelphia Water Department.

Fortunately, nearby residents won't lose their water service.

"The homes are connected to separate water main so they should not see any impact to their water service, just a business impact only today," said DiGiulio.

While the pipe could be fixed by the end of Tuesday, officials say it could take a few more days to repair the road.

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