Repairs were finishing up Tuesday morning in Lowell, Massachusetts, after a major water main break flooded streets and forced evacuations.
As of Tuesday morning, it appeared that all the necessary repairs have been made to the water main that broke Monday afternoon, and crews have at least temporarily covered over the hole in the street. One lane, though, remained blocked on Father Morissette Boulevard.
It was a very different scene, though, when the water main on Father Morissette Boulevard broke at around 3:30 p.m. Monday. Firefighters had to rescue people from their homes and apartments by raft, as the water just kept flooding into the streets near downtown Lowell.
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The water partially submerged cars, and gushed into the basement of the nearby City View Towers apartment complex, which houses mostly people with disabilities or senior citizens. With no power and no running water, that entire building had to be evacuated.
"Our cellar is completely flooded, there’s several feet of water in the basement, so we’ve got no power and no water, and so we’re evacuating everybody," Walter House said Monday evening, who had to evacuate his apartment.
Many of the tenants impacted were escorted onto buses and taken to emergency shelters overnight.
Photos: Major Water Main Break Floods Lowell Streets, Forces Evacuations
“Everybody was just getting out of their houses and the cars were just filling up with water," Natasha Rosa said. "It was just crazy. It was happening really fast, the water started coming towards the buildings, so at that point the whole building on the side wasn’t filled. I was freaking out because I knew that they were going to tell us to evacuate at some point."
Several first responder agencies were involved in managing the water main break, including local police and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.