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Water main break leaves portion of Downtown Miami flooded

Boil water order issued for four buildings impacted by main break

MIAMI – A water main break Wednesday morning left a portion of Downtown Miami flooded.

The 12-inch water main break was reported at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way.

“When they arrived on the scene, they encountered a significant crack in the pavement and water actively flowing out,” Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Pete Sanchez said.

Four buildings in the immediate area were without water until late Wednesday night, when repair on the broken line was finished and service was restored.

The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department issued a boil water notice for the impacted buildings due to the break.

The four impacted buildings are Met 1 located at 300 S Biscayne Boulevard, Muze at 340 SE 3rd Street, South East Financial at 200 S. Biscayne Boulevard and Citi Group Center at 201 S. Biscayne Boulevard.

Anyone who lives in those four buildings should boil water prior to cooking, brushing teeth, making ice and washing dishes until further notice.

The boil water order will be lifted once two days of lab samples come in with compliant results.

Video sent to Local 10 News from a viewer shows cars trying to make their way through the flooded streets earlier in the day.

Miami Commissioner Ken Russell went to the area a short time later and tweeted that a sinkhole was beginning to form.

He said sand and sediment from the street was spilling into Biscayne Bay, which is bad for coral and affects oxygen levels for marine life.

“It’s so frustrating,” Russell told Local 10 News reporter Saira Anwer. “We take a few steps forward and then 10 steps back. Water quality is compromised in our bay and this is just another situation where more sediment is getting out into the bay, covering the corals, covering the grass and it’s reducing oxygen and killing fish.”

The good news is that the water from the broken main is not contaminated; it is a freshwater pipe that was broken.

Officials from the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department said drivers were asked to avoid the area of Biscayne Boulevard from Southeast Second Street to Biscayne Way, and Southeast Third Avenue to Biscayne Boulevard for much of the day.

Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Director Kevin Lynskey told Local 10′s Ian Margol that it was an old cast iron pipe that burst. He called it a “spontaneous burst,” meaning it wasn’t a contractor working in the area that hit the pipe, but that it broke on its own.

“We got a look at it and the pipe wasn’t even corroded,” Lynskey said. “This was kind of interesting. It’s an older pipe and I thought I would have seen more thinness in the wall. We didn’t. It just literally cracked like an egg.”

The Metromover system was temporarily closed due to the water main break.

“The department is working with the Water and Sewer Department (WASD) as the latter works to excavate the area,” a statement from Miami-Dade Transit read. “Once WASD completes their assessment, DTPW crews will be able to properly survey the area and determine if there was any structural damage to the Metromover columns. Crews are currently monitoring the area and standing by to assist.”

Miami-Dade Transit announced that service resumed around 5:30 p.m. A free bus shuttle service was offered for commuters while the Metromover was unavailable.

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WATCH: Video shows extensive flooding from water main break in Miami. (Video courtesy of Brian Yusty)


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