MINNEAPOLIS - City officials say water pressure has returned to normal for the majority of residents and businesses affected by Thursday afternoon's water main break at Hennepin Avenue and 2nd Street North.
Officials say the water is safe to drink.
About a half dozen buildings do remain without water while crews attempt to complete repairs. It may be until Saturday until the work is complete.
City crews worked through the night to fix the 36-inch water main that was ruptured by private contractors working on a development project. The city's public works director estimates 14-million gallons of water was released into sewers, streets and basements.
Some of that water flooded an underground parking lot at the downtown Minneapolis Post Office.
"I saw cars with their headlights on. And cars were floating in the water," said Tim Strauss who works at the post office.
Ryan Companies hired the contractors to help with construction at a new building at the corner of 2nd Street and Hennepin Ave. A spokesperson said it was too early to know exactly what happened until officials can inspect the ruptured pipe.
"We're to assist them in the cleanup efforts. Water has been shut off," said Scott Beron, Safety Director for Ryan Companies.
City officials have to remove a backhoe that was flipped on its side after the ground gave way before any inspection can take place.
According to a news release from the City of Minneapolis, as the water drains from the street, crews are preparing Hennepin Avenue to reopen.
For right now, Hennepin Avenue remains closed between Washington Avenue and Main Street, including the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, and it is not expected to be open for the morning rush hour. The bridge is open for traffic between Northeast and Nicollet Island.
There are other street closures near the site of the water main break.
The following streets are closed at this time:
• Hennepin Avenue from Washington Avenue to Wilder Street (on Nicollet Island)
• 2nd Street North from Hennepin Avenue to 1st Avenue North
• 1st Street North from Hennepin Avenue to 1st Avenue North
• 1st Street South from Hennepin Avenue to Marquette Avenue
• West River Parkway from 4th Avenue North to Portland Avenue South
• 1st Avenue North is closed at Main Street (which normally flows onto the Hennepin Avenue Bridge)
The following blocks of street are only open to local traffic for the time being:
• 1st Avenue North from Washington Avenue to 1st Street North
• 2nd Avenue North from Washington Avenue to 1st Street North
• 2nd Street North, from 3rd Avenue North to 1st Avenue North
• 1st Street North, from 3rd Avenue North to 1st Avenue North
(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)