Chief

Massive Water Main Break in Irving Gushes for Hours

The rupture happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday

For hours, crews struggled to get a handle on a massive water main break in Irving that slowed traffic and caused a powerful stream of water to shoot high into the air. 

Bystanders crowded around to take videos and photos of the large geyser of swirling water.

"It looks like a tornado," Julianna Castillo said. "It has a little funnel type of thing going there."

"I don't know when it's going to stop," Gloria Espinoza said. "It's pretty high and it doesn't look like the pressure is going down."

The break happened just after 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of North Belt Line Road and West Walnut Hill Lane, according to the Irving Fire Department. 

"When Engine 7 got here, there was a water spout about five to six foot high," explained Irving Fire Department Battalion Chief Heidle Baskin. "The water department was here trying to shut that off. During the time he was trying to shut it off, it erupted into what you see now."

Officials estimate the break shot water as high as 50 feet in the air. The powerful stream of water pushed against power lines above it.

Baskin said the fire department called Oncor, which determined the lines weren't in danger of being torn down. 

The Irving Police Department diverted traffic until utility crews could repair the problem.

Near the water main rupture, a section of pipe lay on the ground. It appeared to have been blown out in the rupture. A manhole cover was tossed into the street, several feet away.

"Our biggest concern is were we to have a fire in a neighborhood very close, it would definitely hamper our water pressure," Baskin said.

Just before 8 p.m. Sunday, crews were able to stop the gushing water main and began work to repair the break. 

All lanes of traffic on northbound North Belt Line Road reopened late Sunday evening. The southbound lanes, just south of West Walnut Hill Lane remained closed.

NBC 5's Chris Blake contributed to this report.

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