Water Main Break at 21st and Bainbridge Means Wet, then Dry Times for the neighborhood

If you live in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood or you watch the local news, you certainly already know all about this.

But in case you don’t, take a look at these photos, taken last night around 10pm:

21st and South
Ten Stone
Down 21st St
Up 21st St
Like a river

Around 9pm last night, a 48-inch water transmission main broke at 21st & Bainbridge. The results of this were dramatic, with a torrent of water rushing out of the ground for hours, resulting in a river on 21st Street. According to some of the firemen on the scene, the intersection looked like a volcano had erupted, and the surrounding street was beginning to deteriorate, thanks to the rushing water. These men then had to run off to evacuate a family in a boat.

The water went up 21st Street as far north as Rodman and as far south as Catharine Street. Parts of Kater, Bainbridge, Pemberton, Fitzwater, and Saint Albans Streets all took on some amount of water, with sewer drains unable to keep up with the volume emerging from the broken main. We spoke to people on some of these blocks that were getting water in their basements, even though the water wasn’t outside of their homes.

Kater St, we think

For a video of last night’s flood, click here.

As you can imagine, this means that thousands were without water last night.

As of this morning, most of the neighborhood had their water back on. As for residences and… ahem… businesses that are within a block of the broken main,¬†estimates vary as to how long they will continue to be without water. A police officer we chatted up told us that it should be back later today. A fireman told us that it could be a couple of days. Fingers crossed the cop was on point.

The street surrounding the broken main (which got shut off at some point last night) is totally destroyed. A policeman on the scene called it a sinkhole, which seems like a pretty apt description.

View from Bainbridge
Closer look. There's mud everywhere
Looking up 21st Street. Looks like a little water is still coming from the main. The river has become a creek.
View of the hole from 21st St.
Zoomed in
Trucks attempting to clean up the mud at 21st and Fitzwater Sts.

We saw at least one family get evacuated last night, and Channel 6 indicates that several others were evacuated as well. Hopefully, these families will be allowed to return soon, and the damage to their homes wasn’t too severe. As for how long the street will take to repair, we’re not even going to speculate. But we are going to make it a point to avoid this intersection for days and probably weeks to come.