BOSTON (CBS) – A major water main break flooded several streets, created a giant crater, and forced evacuations in the Back Bay.

A 16-inch underground pipe burst around 9:40 p.m. Monday on Commonwealth Avenue at Exeter Street sending waves of water over the intersection, spreading out to Marlboro and Newbury streets.

A water main broke at Exeter and Comm Ave in the Back Bay Monday night. (WBZ-TV)

Crews worked non-stop to gain access to the broken pipe and replace it Tuesday, but the process was not an easy one.

“There’s a 20-inch gas main on top of us, causing a lot of problems,” said John Sullivan of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission.

Crews worked to replace a pipe and patch up the road after a water main break in the Back Bay (WBZ-TV)

Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, Boston Water announced water services had been restored and it was safe to use.

“We run our assets as long as we can and these pipes have been performing very well. We don’t know if this one piece is a defect, we will be testing it,” Sullivan added. The pipe dates back to 1878.

The road will be paved after National Grid inspects the gas lines in the area.

A water main broke at Exeter and Comm Ave in the Back Bay Monday night. (WBZ-TV)

“There was significant damage to the road structure itself and our biggest priority was the flooding of basements,” District Fire Chief Neal Mullane told reporters early Tuesday morning. “We had significant electrical issues with the water coming through the electrical supply lines.”

Mullane said it’s going to take a while to get the electricity up and running in some of the buildings. Eversource and Boston Inspectional Services have been checking electrical panels in the six buildings that were evacuated.

Boston Police are asking everyone to avoid the area.

Boston Water hopes to have all of Commonwealth Avenue reopened by Wednesday afternoon at the latest.


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