Minneapolis Public Works are working to repair a water main break near the intersection Hennepin Avenue and 2nd Street in downtown Minneapolis.
Crews have been able to shut off water in the area to stem the flooding, and are now focusing on restoring water service to a wide area of the city stretching south of the Mississippi River to the Lake of the Isles.
The Hennepin Avenue bridge was closed after Hennepin Avenue flooded from the bridge to Washington Avenue. Several other surrounding streets have been impacted. Drivers are urged to avoid the area.
Officials say private contractors working on a development project at the intersection struck a 36-inch water main that delivers water to much of the city at about 2:30 p.m.
At 4:10 p.m., Ryan Companies released a statement explaining that a subcontractor was working at an apartment project on the corner of Hennepin and Washington avenues when the main ruptured. The full statement can be read below:
At approximately 2:30 p.m., while our subcontractor, United Sewer and Water, was doing work near a City of Minneapolis water line, the line ruptured. We are currently investigating the cause of the accident. The incident occurred on the site of our 222 Hennepin apartment project, located on the corner of Hennepin and Washington Avenues. We are relieved to report that no one was injured as a result of the accident and the site has been evacuated. We are actively working with Minneapolis City officials to shut off the line so that repairs can be made. Further questions should be directed to the City of Minneapolis Public Works department.
Crews planned to isolate the break in order to restore water service to the greater area by Thursday evening; however, it will take longer to restore service in the immediate area near the break.
At this time, it is not known how long the four blocks of Hennepin Avenue between 2nd Street and Marquette Avenue South will be without water service.
Shortly after 4:15 p.m., a traffic advisory was issued in the area of Washington Avenue and 2nd Street North to report that 1.5 feet of water had pooled in the underground garage of the post office, and a fuel smell had also been reported.
A spokesman for the Federal Reserve confirmed that non-essential employees were sent home due to the water main break, and water to the building has been turned off. Officials do not anticipate any water will get inside, but only essential staff will be required to work on Friday.
The Guthrie Theater also issued a release following the water main break to inform those who bought tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance of The Servant of Two Masters that the show has been canceled. Patrons should contact the box office after noon on Friday to exchange their tickets.Both Sea Change and the Guthrie building are closed.
The Minneapolis Central Library was also closed at 4:30 p.m. because of the break.
The Hennepin County Medical Center told FOX 9 News they experienced a drop in water pressure, but it is improving. No surgeries have been delayed.
A water main break Tuesday afternoon flooded several streets in Duluth, Minn.