Water Main Break Floods Pilsen

Nearby homes' basements were covered in three to four feet of water

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gushing water turned city streets into rivers, even shutting down the intersection near 21st and Ashland as flooding rose up against cars on nearby streets and into Juarez High School's gymnasium. (Published Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011)

    A water main burst overnight in Pilsen, flooding neighborhood streets and basements.

    The 36-inch water main near Benito Juarez High School ruptured around 8:30 p.m. Monday. The hole in the 1927 cast-iron main is about three feet in diameter and caused quite a bit of damage.

    Because it's a feeder pipe, water department officials say the break didn't disrupt service to homes. But gushing water did turn city streets into rivers, even shutting down the intersection near 21st and Ashland as flooding rose up against cars on nearby streets and into Juarez High School's gymnasium.

    Nearby homes' basements were covered in three to four feet of water.

    "Basically all my furniture is destroyed downstairs in the basement," said Walter Green, whose home flooded. "We're looking at about maybe three to three-and-a-half feet of water, and I basically lost everything in my basement."

    Most of the water was gone Tuesday morning but there's still a lot of mud left over. Crews worked through the night and into the morning to excavate and repair the pipe.

    "Right now it looks like we're going to have to replace about 12 feet of the water main," said Bill Breshnahan, deputy commissioner of the Water Department. "The pipe has already been ordered and it's on its way along with the pieces we need to fix the pipe. I'm hoping that we get it done by the end of the business day."

    The city said Chicago has seen several big water main breaks like this in the past year, including one on Foster Avenue and one on 47th and Loomis.

    It's not known what caused the break.