Crews repair water main break on Girard Avenue in Fishtown

Friday, October 19, 2018
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Repairs continue on Fishtown water main: Sarah Bloomquist reports on Action News at 5 p.m., October 18, 2018

FISHTOWN (WPVI) -- A 20-inch water main break in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia caused major flooding and a well-traveled intersection to buckle.

Officials said water service was suspended in the area for a time Thursday evening while crews worked to fix the 20-inch main.

"So we actually plan on engaging a contractor to come out and do some street repairs to get at least one lane open in each direction hopefully by tomorrow night if not by Saturday," said John DiGiulio of the Philadelphia Water Department.

Thursday morning the normally bustling and congested East Girard Avenue in Fishtown was quiet and nearly empty.

Rush hour traffic was diverted mostly to Columbia Avenue and overflowed to side streets as repairs continued on a massive overnight water main break.

Jean Jacquette of Fishtown said, "It's going to be hell especially because the side streets are so narrow."

The Philadelphia Water Department says it got calls around 11 p.m. Wednesday about the road buckling and water gushing onto the road on Girard Avenue at Crease Street from a 20-inch water main.

Crews managed to shut off the water at around 2 a.m. leaving homes and business between Frankford and Marlborough with low water pressure or no water at all.

Ava Casey of Fishtown said, "When I turned the water on, the water started to go crazy."

Theresa Casey and her husband live in the closed-off area. They walked little Ava farther down to her bus stop.

"We saw your coverage and we knew immediately we had an issue with the bus, so here we are," she said.

Although the main rupture site is over at Crease and Girard, the force of that water was so strong it actually pushed up the asphalt along the trolley tracks and also on the edges of the roadway.

Later in the day business owners found themselves impacted by little to no foot traffic and wet basements.

Business owner Henry Baranowski said, "We get early morning drop-offs and people get their cars after work."

"We will have to take everything out of the kitchen and mop everything because everything got mud all over it," said Lisa Mazzenga, Hostess at Murph's Bar.


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