Downtown water main breaks, floods streets

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January 3, 2013 // UPDATED 11:03 am - January 4, 2013
By: Nick Halter and Dylan Thomas
Sarah McKenzie
Nick Halter and Dylan Thomas
Private crews working on a development project at Hennepin & 2nd ruptured a 36-inch water main, causing a massive flood

Private crews working on an apartment project at Hennepin Avenue and 2nd Street North ruptured a 36-inch water main, flooding the intersection and leaving many downtown buildings without water, according to a city press release.

The water main supplies water to a large portion of the city, even as far south as Lake of the Isles. Residents without water service can expect it to return this evening, according to the release.

Crews have been evacuated from the development project known as 222 Hennepin — a construction site that will be home to a Whole Foods market and new apartment development later this year. 

Here's the latest update from the City of Minneapolis Facebook page: "Progress is being made on isolating the water main break to restore service to the vast majority of affected customers. So far crews have isolated the break to the north (Plymouth Ave Bridge) and the east (5th Avenue South). Still working on the affected areas to the west and south."

Hennepin Avenue from Washington Avenue to the river is closed. Drivers are asked to avoid the area. 

Hennepin County Medical Center spokesperson Christine Hill said the downtown hospital experienced “a slight drop in water pressure” following the water main break, but said things seemed to be back to normal by about 4:20 p.m. Many buildings in the downtown core, including Target Corp's headquarters are without water, according to employees. 

“It didn’t change business as usual,” Hill said.

Several Metro Transit bus routes were detoured around the flooding, leading to delays in service. Routes 4, 6U, 7 and 61 and express routes 667, 668, 671, 672 and 674 were temporarily altered to avoid the intersection of Hennepin and Washington.

With water shut off to parts of downtown, several restaurants announced via Twitter they would close for the evening, including Sea Change, Black Sheep Pizza and Rosa Mexicano. The Guthrie Theater cancelled tonight's performance of "The Servant of Two Masters." The performance of "A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol at the New Century Theatre" has been cancelled, but the performance of Aida at the Pantages will go on as scheduled, according to the Hennepin Theatre Trust Facebook page. The downtown YMCA is also closed for the evening.  

How have you been impacted by the water main break? Let us know. Comment on this post or email smckenzie@mnpubs.com.

— Sarah McKenzie contributed to this report