Water floods Bridgeport streets, basements

March 8, 2011 2:13:03 PM PST
Four water mains snapped and broke Tuesday afternoon when a semi struck a fire hydrant near the intersection of 36th and Halsted streets in the city's Bridgeport neighborhood.

Streets have been blocked off in the area since 2 p.m. when water first flooded the 3600- to 3800- block of South Halsted Street. Water crews were called to the scene to stop the gushing water, which is seeping into homes. They shut the water off.

"Actually two different mains that were affected a 12-inch main, 8-inch main and 6-inch main. All the mains are interconnected and all three suffered damage on them. Right now we're opening the holes up to see what the extent of the damage is. But we do have all three of the mains shut down. As soon as we are able to replace these mains or get down there and find out what we need to do, we will get the water back on as quickly as possible," Deputy Cmsr. Bill Bresnaham, Chicago Dept. of Water Management, said.

The Chicago Fire Department is keeping trucks in the area just in case they need to respond to a fire in the area where the water -- including hydrants -- is off.

The incident caused a pressure surge, which is called a water hammer, and led to the breaks.

The truck driver was cited for damage to public property.