Water Main Ruptures On Charles Street; Causes Heavy Flooding

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A massive water main break causes huge amounts of water to flood onto Charles Street in Mt. Royal.

Mike Hellgren reports with more on the 60-inch water main break and the problems it’s causing.

The water main dates back to 1920.

Seventeen feet below North Charles Street and 20th, an old water main ruptured–sending thousands of gallons gushing downhill.

“I thought we was at the beach or something, or Sandy had came back,” said Jaquelyn.

It snarled rush hour traffic and is likely to continue to do that for days to come.

“This is a crossroads for the city at Charles and North, and a lot of commuters use this route. There’s no getting around that,” said Jamie Kendrick, Baltimore Department of Transportation.

The break also flooded businesses.

“There’s not much they can do. You can’t level the whole city and start all over,” said Tony Jobst, Club Charles/Lost City Diner.

“It’s kind of strange seeing a gigantic sandbar and a bunch of rocks in the middle of Charles Street in the beginning of November,” said Patrick Martin, Metro Gallery.

Several people had to be evacuated.

“We’ve dispatched an MTA bus to temporarily house them. There are not many. Most of those are businesses there,” said Scott Brillman, Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management.

The water left stones and debris in the streets. Some buildings have several feet of water in their basements, and that all flowed downhill, near the tracks at Penn Station.

As a precaution, BGE is prepared to re-route a natural gas line, and did shut off power to some customers.

“We’re trying to make sure that our customers are as safe as possible given the circumstances,” said BGE Spokesperson Rob Gould.

Public Works officials blame an old infrastructure–crumbling faster than it can be fixed.

There’s no word yet on when things will be back to normal in the affected area.

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