MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Water management crews will be working around the clock to clean up a nasty mess left behind by a water main break in Miami Thursday.
The break happened at around 5 p.m. at NE 71st St. and 4th Ct.
Auto repair shop Miami Auto Inc. is located about 20 yards away from where the break occurred.
“We hear an explosion. We didn’t really know what it was,” said owner Mario Cuella.
Suddenly water was flooding the gated shop.
“It looked like a tsunami. All the mechanics started running around and getting the keys of the cars and park the cars outside,” Cuella told CBS4’s Donna Rapado. “We were able to save the cars.”
He said the water got to as high as three feet in some spots.
“Water started coming in to the office, waiting room, parts department,” he said.
Cuella said the county will be back tomorrow to assess damage and cover expenses.
The auto shop wasn’t the only thing in trouble.
An ice truck got trapped as it tried to drive through the overflowing mess.
City of Miami Fire Rescue was finally able to get the truck out, while Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department shut off the valve.
Once the water receded, it revealed a massive 12 to 15-foot deep sinkhole
According to Adriana Lamar of WASD, the 12-inch water main broke because it was, simply put, old.
“And this one just broke,” she said. “Just a natural cause.”
WASD told CBS4 the county is in the midst of assigning money to upgrade the aging maze below.
“You know, there’s pipes that are sometimes in the ground that are 50, 60 years old,” explained Lamar.
Crews will continue to work nonstop to repair the broken 12-inch water main and to secure the site, ensuring that water pressure remains at acceptable levels.
WASD said it was an isolated the break, so no one will be without water.
As repairs are underway, commuters may wish to avoid the area through Friday afternoon.