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Nearly Century Old Water Pipe Bursts, Flooding Streets Near Hancock Center

CHICAGO (CBS)-- A nearly century old pip burst in downtown Chicago Monday, causing flooding in Streeterville. The worst of the flooding was across the street where water flowed into the Hancock building's loading dock, rising to about half the height of a passenger van.

The 12-inch water main broke around 10 a.m. on Mies Van Der Rohe Way between Walton Place and Chestnut Street, according to the city's Department of Water Management. The water could be seen bubbling up into the street from below the Seneca Apartments.

The broken water main has since been shut down, but not until after it caused flooding problems for at least five nearby high-rises. Units above ground are fine, but at least one building has basement flooding, and engineers spent the day digging at the source of the problem.

Once they stopped the break, it was time to fix the damage. That water flowed across the road and down the loading dock of the John Hancock building. The work of pumping all of it out continues.

The Department of Water Management says the foot long break happened in some pipe first installed 94 years ago.

The Seneca Apartment building is right above the break. Several residents said they did not have water coming out of their faucets a 5 p.m., and management was not sure when it would be restored.

The city said repairs to the broken main were not expected to be completed until Monday night.

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