Updated 03/08/11 – 5:05 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – A trucker ran over a fire hydrant in the Bridgeport neighborhood on Tuesday, leading to several water main breaks, with water flowing into several streets and flooding some nearby basements.
A semi truck driver was attempting to turn right from Halsted Street onto 35th Place about 11:55 a.m. when he struck and sheared off a fire hydrant, police News Affairs Officer Anne Dwyer said.
The impact caused a water hammer — or a pressure surge caused when water is forced to stop or change motion.
That caused the water main connected to the hydrant to crack in at least three places around 2 p.m., officials said.
A large amoung of water was flooding streets as well as at least seven basements.
Fire Commissioner Bob Hoff said, “Concern number one is that the Water Department took quick action, shut the water off. But we had water in basements so we were worried about the gas, the electric.”
By 3:20 p.m., the water mains had been shut off and it appeared most of the water had drained off the streets, but fire department crews were still in the area, helping pump water out of some basements in the area.
Phil Fratto is the landlord of one of the buildings that had a flooded basement as a result.
“I just showed up and there was water in my basement,” he said. “It’s bad. About three-and-a-half feet of water.”
Halsted Street was shut down between 35th Street and 37th Street while crews worked on repairs.
The area affected by flooding runs from 35th to 37th street and from Emerald to Lituanica.
Gas service in that area had to be shut off while crews worked to fix the problem. Repair crews were going as fast as they can, but they have make sure they don’t hit gas and electric lines.
The truck driver was cited for damage to public property, Dwyer said. He was not injured.
(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)