Minneapolis water main break shuts down businesses, interrupts traffic

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A water main ruptured by contractors in downtown Minneapolis Thursday afternoon flooded a four-block radius and caused widespread service interruptions throughout the city.

Workers struck the 36-inch water main at Hennepin Ave and 2nd Street North while working on a development in the area, the city said in a statement. Thousands of gallons of water poured onto the streets, causing major traffic headaches.

Metro Transit says several downtown bus routes have been detoured. The buses affected are listed on their website. However, the Hiawatha LRT was not interrupted.

Water service was cut off for many businesses in areas of downtown. Water pressure issues span as far south of the Mississippi River and as far east as Lake of the Isles.

The Star Tribune reports Hennepin County Medical Center experienced low water pressure, but surgeries and other operations remained on schedule due to a back-up system.

All Hennepin County government facilities, with the exception of the hospital, closed at 4:30 p.m., WCCO says.

Without water flowing, several downtown restaurants were forced to close, including: Be’Wiched Deli, Black Sheep Pizza, Fogo de Chao, Haute Dish, Kindee Thai, Origami, Rosa Mexicano, Seven and Spoonriver.

The Guthrie Theater announced the cancellation of Thurday night's performance of "The Servant of Two Masters."

The Guthrie's building and restaurant, The Sea Change, have also been closed.

The U.S. Post Office is the only building experiencing flooding. At least two levels of an underground parking ramp left cars underwater.

City officials tell the Star Tribune that utility workers won't go home until the issue is resolved.

Crews don't know when water service will be restored in the immediate area surrounding the break along 2nd Street from 3rd Avenue North to Marquette Avenue South. Outside of that area, the city is hopeful service will be restored by Thursday evening.

Hennepin Avenue from Washington Avenue to the bridge spanning the Mississippi River is closed. Drivers have been advised to avoid the area.

KARE 11 gives you a look at "ground zero."

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