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Broken Water Main Causes Icy Mess In Gary, Indiana

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A water main break caused a watery and frozen mess overnight in Gary, Indiana.

Water flooded several streets near 50th and Georgia when a 12-inch water main broke around 7 p.m. Thursday. It took until Friday morning to repair the broken main. By then, water had reached 2 to 3 feet deep in places, and had started to freeze over, according to the Gary Fire Department.

"It looks like an ice rink," 15-year-old Le'Andre Bryant said.

Gary Flooding Ice
Two to three feet of water covered streets and yards in Gary, Indiana, after a large water main broke, and the water started to freeze when it took several hours to fix the problem. (Credit: Network Video Productions)

That huge patch of ice was enough to keep Le'Andre home from school.

"I couldn't walk through all this. My bus stop is down there, and I couldn't get down there," he said.

Le'Andre and his brother, Lavell, said their street is prone to flooding at times, but this is the worst they've ever seen.

"I ain't never seen nothing like this before," Lavell said.

The worst problems appeared to be in the Glen Park subdivision, which looked more like a water park Friday morning, and residents aren't happy about it.

At least 15 homes were affected, including Kenneth Miller Sr.'s house.

Miller had a tough time making it back to his house, because the water quickly turned into ice overnight.

"The two-car garage, this flooded, and the entryway is flooded," Miller said.

Firefighters rescued at least one couple who climbed on top of their car after it stalled in the deep water, fearing to go into the icy water.

Gary Flooding
A couple climbs on top of a car amid an icy flooded street in Gary, Indiana, after a water main break on Dec. 7, 2018. (Source: Network Video Productions)

American Water of Indiana said crews worked overnight to shut down the main and repair the broken pipe.

"All affected customers are back in service, but there is still a lot of water and ice in the area---especially around 50th & Georgia. We have been working with the Gary Sanitary District to check drainage features/structures in the area to try and get the area drained. We are also applying salt to melt ice on roadways," spokesman Joe Loughmiller stated in an email.

Gary Sanitation District crews were using pumps to drain the flood water, because most sewers on Carolina Street were blocked by debris.

Officials also have issued a boil order for customers along Georgia Street from 44th to 51st. Residents should boil any water used for consumption for three minutes until the boil order is lifted.

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