Water main break in Houston causes water outages around city

Water main break in Houston causes water outages around city

HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner recommends boiling water for the next 24 hours after a massive water main break caused major flooding in east Houston and water pressure problems in areas across Houston. 

Turner said water pressure will continue to be low over the next several hours, including in the downtown area and some portions of the Med Center, and in Midtown, Montrose, the Museum District, The Heights, Timbergrove and the Memorial Park area.

He said the line has been capped on both ends, but the water line will continue to drain for several more hours. He said repairs could take between 6-8 hours.

“Our goal is to move as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Houston Health Department is warning all food service establishments without water or flushing toilets to cease operations immediately. 

The water passing through the pipe is listed as “potable,” meaning that it was originally deemed safe for human consumption, according to public utility information.

RELATED: What schools or businesses are closed or experiencing no water due to the main break?

However, Turner said based on reports, water did not infiltrate anyone’s home.

“We are watching homes along Clinton Drive very carefully,” he said. 

Harris County Toll Road Authority is waiving tolls on the Sam Houston Tollway between I-69 (US-59) North and I-45 South/Gulf Freeway on the east side of Harris County. This includes tolls at the mainlane plazas and entrance/exit ramps within those limits.

The Woodlands Express may run earlier Downtown routes to each Park and Ride location. Please check our twitter feed (@TownshipTransit) for more service updates.

How did the water main break happen?

A City of Houston contractor from Harper Brothers caused the water line to burst when soil was moved during work on a city project, according to AlertHouston. A representative for the company declined to comment on the main break.

“Contractors are on site isolating the break and draining the lines. This will take several hours,” Turner tweeted. “The water pressure will be low throughout a large segment of the city including downtown.”

 The northbound and southbound lanes of the East Loop remain closed because of high water near Clinton and traffic is backed up for miles. 225 is also shut down.

Many drivers were caught off-guard as the water rose quickly and some were stranded on tops of their cars. The Houston Fire Department rescued three people and searched and cleared 11 vehicles.

What’s affected?

The University of Houston’s main campus, UH Downtown and TSU are closed for the rest of the day because of water issues.

RELATED: What schools or businesses are closed or experiencing no water due to the main break?

Some businesses, The Houston Zoo and the Museum of Natural Science are also closed. Parts of NRG Park are affected, as well.

Early voting locations at HCC Southeast and Young Library are shutting down. Find alternate locations.

The City of Houston is asking all residents to conserve water for the rest of the day. 

“This is a cluster, but we will get it worked out,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted.

We’re told there are no water problems at Bush and Hobby airports.

If you have questions about the water main break text “Water” to 713-526-1111.

Stay with KHOU.com and our mobile news app for the very latest on this breaking story.  


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