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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pipe Burst Flood Basements, Closes Streets

A water main break in the Pilsen neighborhood has left several homes and streets flooded Tuesday morning.

The 36 inch water main ruptured near Cermak and Ashland around 8:30 Monday night.

The hole in the pipe is about three feet in diameter and crews are working to excavate the pipe and replace about 12 feet of it.

The large main carries water from one end of the city to another.

The intersection at 21st and Ashland has been temporarily closed due to the flooding.

The water also spread to the gym at Benito Juarez High School. Some local businesses had to shut down as well.

Classes at Juarez High School remain on schedule Tuesday despite the flood.

Tom LaPorte, a spokesman for the city's Water Department, said that it still would take some time to make repairs and that crews were closing off valves to stem the flow.

Many residents reported flooded basements.

"All my furniture is destroyed downstairs.. We're looking at maybe 3 to 3½ feet of water. We basically lost everything," said Walter Green."

"I live in the basement--unfortunately it's impossible to be there," said Derardo Nunez.

Some business owners closed their shops and complained of water damage. Marco Sarmiento, owner of Pilsen's Mini Mart said he was forced to close early. "It's definitely affecting my sales, (but) the main thing is to keep everyone safe," he said.

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