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Massive Water Main Break In Crown Heights Forces Dozens Of Residents To Evacuate

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It was a rude awakening for some Brooklyn residents Thursday morning as a large water main break forced dozens of residents to evacuate.

It happened just before 5 a.m. near Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue in Crown Heights. Video from the scene showed water shooting up into the air like a geyser.

About 50 people have been evacuated.

"As soon as I get to the corner, I seen the water but the water was no higher than the second floor," said resident Shawn Miller. "Then the tree sunk, the ground opened up and the pipe bust more and the water started rising even higher."

The water main was finally capped just before 8 a.m., 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.

Rhonda stood outside dumbfounded, after making a run for it from her apartment.

"I never seen nothing like this, this is ridiculous, this is unbelievable. I thought it was a fire from down the block until they told me something exploded, and this is the result of it. This is crazy" she said, "I never seen this. It look like a hurricane slash tornado, something like that all in one. It look like the tree sinking in, everything sinking in."

"It just shot rocks even the fire department didn't want to go near it," said resident Qumarah Jackson.

Debris damaged a number of cars -- blowing out their windows, and thousand pound dumpsters were tossed into the air like it was nothing.

Department of Environmental Protection worked to find the water source and  shut off the supply more than three hours later, CBS2's Magdalena Doris reported.

The 48 inch water main will have to be replaced and that will mean water outages for neighbors. But the good news is that no one sustained damage to their home, Doris reported.

The Red Cross is assisting a few displaced tenants who cannot occupy the building during construction and until there is a safe fire escape route.

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