GREEN BAY - A major water main break sends this geyser shooting in the air, flooding several streets on Green Bay's East side, and potentially affecting the area's water quality.
The water main break happened just after 6:30 this morning.
It happened on Mason Street, just east of Bader and Main.
A small portion of the east-bound lanes of Mason Street remain closed tonight. It could take 48 hours to re-open.
This intersection at Mason and Bader Streets looked more like a massive water fall Saturday morning.
"We probably lost a million gallons, at least," said Green Bay Water Utilities General Manager Bill Nabak.
After one of the two major, three-foot-wide water mains that carry water from Lake Michigan to the city broke.
"I'm assuming we're going to have to replace that whole piece of pipe," said Nabak.
The general manager of the city's water utility says the 55-year-old pipe shot water nearly 20 to 30 feet in the air, taking neighbors and utility crews by surprise.
"You hope to get around 100 years out of it," said Nabak. "We just tested them two years ago and we didn't see any bad spots."
Crews tried to clear sewer drains clogged by snow and ice.
As the water flooded nearby intersections, Green Bay Police had the difficult task of keeping drivers out of harm's way.
"The undermining to the concrete is pretty major, so it's going to be shut down for quite a long time," said Captain Paul Abel with the Green Bay Police.
Police say many drivers weren't heeding the "road closed" signs, and found themselves with flooded engines. But, others planned ahead and took alternate routes.
"Everybody was just going down to the corner, stopping to watch," said Tom Schauer, who lives in the neighborhood.
Neighbors, including one local alderman, poked their heads out to see the commotion as they woke up.
"This is one of those things that you wish upon nobody, but it happens. It's kind of dangerous right now," said Alderman Tom DeWane.
Aside from the possibility of roads icing over, residents faced the possibility of no water for a few hours.
"We still have a little pressure, but it's gradually dwindling," said Schauer. "Don't use the bathrooms don't use the toilets, don't use nothing."
The water utility manager says proper water pressure was restored to the area. His crews are tracking down a replacement pipe as quickly as they can. But, a boil water advisory remains in effect until Tuesday.
The Wisconsin DNR says it wants people living near the water main break to boil their water or used bottled water. This includes anyone living east of Bader and Danz streets.
No word on what caused the break to happen, or how much repairs will cost.
The Village of Bellevue says this warning does not apply to Bellevue residents. Bellevue, Allouez, De Pere, Ledgeview, Howard and Lawrence residents receive water from the city of Manitowoc and are not connected to the Green Bay water utility system.
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