A large water main broke at Dwight Way just below Telegraph Avenue around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, sending water gushing down the street.
Dwight has been closed from Telegraph to Dana Street, and traffic will likely be affected all day as crews work to address the break, according to Keith May, Berkeley Fire Department assistant chief and spokesman. Berkeley Fire responded to the break initially, and alerted the East Bay Municipal Utility District.
EBMUD shut off water around the site at 9:15 a.m., affecting service for 23 customers, said Tracie Morales, district spokeswoman. At 11:30 a.m. she said crews were waiting to begin excavation until Underground Service Alert workers came to mark the location of utility lines, so EBMUD can work around them.
“The break was underground and there were no above-ground causes,” May wrote in an email to Berkeleyside.
Readers reported a chaotic scene along Dwight Thursday morning, when rush-hour traffic encountered the flood.
“Water was flowing at an alarming rate,” wrote Caroline Vurlumis, who was driving through the area to work around 9 a.m. A bus sat diagonally near the Telegraph intersection, blocking the traffic that was coming up Dwight, she said. Fire vehicles drove up Dwight to the scene of the break as well.
“I managed to wiggle out, to avoid the hell section, which was where Dwight meets Telegraph,” she said.
Morales said EBMUD will not be able to determine the cause of the break, or estimate when water service will be restored, until excavation begins.
This story has been updated with additional information from EBMUD.