Water main break shuts down highway, floods neighborhood

In this aerial photo, water is slowly draining from the freeway after a water main break east of the location flooded all lanes, closing the freeway in both directions, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at the intersection of 610 and Clinton Drive in east Houston. Businesses and schools shut down Thursday after a main line from a plant that supplies water to about half of Houston burst open, submerging vehicles on the flooded freeway and prompting emergency officials to deploy tanker trucks to mitigate any fire hazards

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In this aerial photo, water is slowly draining from the freeway after a water main break east of the location flooded all lanes, closing the freeway in both directions, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at the intersection of 610 and Clinton Drive in east Houston. Businesses and schools shut down Thursday after a main line from a plant that supplies water to about half of Houston burst open, submerging vehicles on the flooded freeway and prompting emergency officials to deploy tanker trucks to mitigate any fire hazards

A 96-inch, or 8-foot, pipe broke in east Houston, flooding a neighborhood and forced the closure of a highway, with some drivers stranded in water-logged cars, having to stand on the top of their vehicles awaiting rescue, KHOU reported.

The pipe supplies half of Houston with water, forcing the entire city to be under a boil water notice.

The line was 35 years old and was capped on both ends, but that didn't stop water from pouring out of it most of Thursday evening. It broke when a worker moved soil, city officials said. Crews were trying to fix a leak in the pipe when the pipe failed, KHOU reported.

The water break forced schools and businesses to close, as well as county-run buildings in the downtown area. Restaurants that did not have running water had to close immediately by order of the health department, both KHOU and KTRK reported.

Schools are expected to open Monday, KTRK reported.

Despite the neighborhood flooding, homes seem to have been spared, with officials saying the water didn’t enter houses.

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