Water service restored

The Baltimore Sun

Water has been restored to businesses and residences affected by a major water main break Sunday that caused extensive flooding in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, a Baltimore public works spokesman said.

Residences, restaurants and offices that had lost water or had low pressure were set to be back at full strength by last night, spokesman Kurt Kocher said.

Kocher recommended that people remove the aerators from their taps and turn on the water to flush out sediment that might have accumulated, although the water is safe to drink. No precautions such as boiling are necessary, he said.

The rupture occurred about 4 a.m. Sunday in the middle of the 100 block of E. Madison St. at Hargrove Alley, turning streets into rushing streams carrying sand, mud, rocks and chunks of asphalt.

In a four- to five-block area around the break, 14 large customers - including the State Highway Administration - and 18 smaller customers such as residences lost all or part of their water service, Kocher said. Crews removed debris from the roads overnight and removed a section of pipe yesterday morning, Kocher said.

Madison Street is closed between St. Paul and Calvert streets. That part of Madison will require backfill and resurfacing, but it could reopen as early as tomorrow.

Two state buildings were closed yesterday.

The six-story State Highway Administration office at 707 N. Calvert St. had about 2 feet of water in the sub-basement, along with water and mud damage to the basement and the north side of the first floor, said Dave Buck, an SHA spokesman. State vehicles are parked in the sub-basement, but the extent of damage was unclear, he said.

Last night, SHA officials said they did not have heat or electricity in the main building, and many workers would be relocated today to the highway administration's offices in the 200 block of Madison St. Officials said they did not know when the flooded building would reopen, but the Madison Street offices will house many of the critical operations.

Baltimore Sun reporter Gus G. Sentementes contributed to this article.

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