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Cleanup Underway After Water Main Break Floods Frankford

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By Jenn Bernstein

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Cleanup crews got back into action after a water main break flooded a neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, neighbors and businesses are assessing the damage.

It happened Monday morning at the intersection of Frankford and Torresdale Avenues in Frankford (See Related Story).

The main is 48-inches wide and located 20 feet underground. The city says it lost 23 million gallons of water yesterday as roads became rivers around 9 a.m.

When crews got to the scene, they found the 48-inch cast iron pipe attached to a 60-inch transmission line had ruptured.

It took crews three hours to reach the broken main and shut off the valve. The Water Distribution Superintendent on scene this morning tells CBS 3 they are working hard to fix the problem.

“We had our city-wide crew here into the late evening cleaning up and beginning the assessment. Today we are going to continue to clean the side streets in the area and the neighborhood,” says Tony Folcone, Water Distribution Superintendent. “We are going to continue to clean the streets and try to assess exactly what we have to do to get to the actual pipe that’s broken.”

More than 40 schools were closed because their water was shut off, a day care and homes were evacuated.  There was also property damage to area businesses.

Water pressure was fully restored to area businesses and residents by 11:30 a.m. Monday.

City officials are still in the assessment phase as they try to figure out exactly what caused this massive rupture yesterday.

“We are still looking to get down to the pipe to see what’s exactly happened and what we need to do to make the full repair,” Folcone said.

John Digiulio of the Philadelphia Water Department says repairs could take months.

Crews will work until 4 or 5 p.m. this evening, then they will have Christmas Day off.

They will be back to work on the area Thursday.

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