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Cleanup Continues After Massive Water Main Break in North Philadelphia

Update, 9:19 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 13

Cleanup efforts continued in North Philadelphia Sunday morning after a four-foot water main burst Saturday night, pouring millions of gallons of water into the street.

Saturday's break, which happened about 8 p.m. near the site of the former Tastykake factory in the area of Hunting Park Avenue and Westmoreland Street, at the border of Tioga and Nicetown, was the second water main rupture in the neighborhood in lass than three months.

In June, a large water main also burst in the same area, flooding streets and local businesses, including Bakers Centre, a fairly new shopping center in the neighborhood, with 7 million gallons of water.

A Philadelphia Water Department official told NBC10's Jesse Gary that Saturday night's main break did not cause any evacuations or shut-downs of service, but it did briefly affect water pressure in the area.

"There were some low pressure issues. We didn't turn anyone's water off," John DiGiulio, a water department spokesman. "But when you have a main of this size break, sometimes pressure goes down in some homes."

Crews on Sunday morning were working on moving mud off of Hunting Park Avenue so that traffic could pass through. The main that burst is more than 100 years old.

A U-Haul business located in the old Tastykake warehouse said Sunday morning that although the building experienced severe flooding, none of the rental equipment was affected.

Officials are working to repair a large water main break near the former site of the Tastykake Factory.

The 48-inch main broke around 8:30 p.m. Saturday on Hunting Park Avenue and Westmoreland Street. So far no one has been evacuated.

"There were some low pressure issues," said John DiGiulio of the Philadelphia Water Department. "We didn't turn anyone's water off but when you have a main of this size break, sometimes pressure goes down in some homes. At about quarter to 10, everyone should have had full pressure back and restored in their homes and normal service." 

The break caused flooding at the intersection, spilling an estimated 15 million gallons of water into the street. The water ripped away the edge of a nearby parking lot and pushed down a fence line.

The factory for Philly snack food company Tastykake was once located in the area. Another large water main break occurred near the location last June causing seven million gallons of water to flood the Bakers Square shopping center at Fox Street and Roberts Avenue.

While officials say the main that broke in June wasn't the same as the one that broke Saturday, they also say they were both part of the same grouping of four large transmission lines that run under the area. At least one of the transmission lines has been in place since the late 1800's, according to officials.

Water Department officials continue to make repairs at the scene.

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