Residents in Houston were being asked to conserve water Thursday after a massive water main break in the area of East Loop 610 around noontime flooded roadways and continued releasing water into the evening.
In addition, residents were being asked to boil any water they use prior to drinking, brushing their teeth or washing, Houston’s FOX 26 reported.
“This was a major, a major break,” Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters at a news conference. “As you can see it produced a lot of water and it is still producing a lot of water.”
“This was a major, a major break. As you can see it produced a lot of water and it is still producing a lot of water.”
— Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Those with weakened immune systems were asked to be mindful of potentially harmful bacteria in the city’s water supply for the time being, the station reported.
An abandoned vehicle sits stalled in floodwaters from a water main break that inundated the East Loop 610 on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 in Houston. (Associated Press)
Video on social media showed trucks being driven in deep water in an effort to rescue stranded motorists.
Both directions of East Loop 610 were expected to be reopened for Friday morning rush hour, Houston’s KTRK-TV reported.
Water pressure was low in the city as a result of the mishap, but Turner said it “stablized” as crews continued making repairs.
The main that busted was 35 years old, the mayor told FOX 26. The break was measured at 96 inches, according to the station.
Workers clean water from the southbound lanes of 610 at Clinton Drive, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Houston. (Associated Press)
“This is an example of the need for infrastructure improvements, not just in this city but cities across the board,” Turner told reporters. “When you’re dealing with an aging infrastructure, you’re going to have these main-line breaks. And in some cases, they are major arteries and can cause major disruption.”
The line was from the Northeast Water Purification Plant, which provides 40-50 percent of the city’s water.
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, at the intersection of 610 and Clinton Drive, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (Associated Press)
As a result of the problem, Harris County was operating at a Level 3 emergency, similar to that for the approach of a hurricane or disease outbreak, the station reported.
Numerous schools and businesses in the city planned to be closed Friday as a result of the outage, the Houston Chronicle reported.