Geyser of Water Gushes from Main Break in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa -- Video sent to Newswatch 16 shows water gushing from a water main break in Scranton's Green Ridge section.

It happened around 7 a.m. Friday on Marion Street, near the old Scranton Lace Company buildings.

Crews got the water shut off around 9 a.m. but they will be working here for much of the afternoon.

This all started because a construction crew was working to replace a gas line and hit the water main by accident.

People along Marion Street in Scranton awoke to the sounds of rushing water. It sprayed, at times, 20 feet into the air after a construction crew working to replace a gas line hit a water line instead.

Water from a 16-inch main was shooting into the air at the intersection of Marion Street and Mylert Avenue.

The construction crew says the water main was higher than they anticipated, only about a foot under the surface of the street.

Workers said the water line was much higher than they anticipated -- only 13 inches below the surface. It wasn't lost on them that it was Friday the 13th.

Neighbors say when the line was hit, water and rocks went everywhere.

"These guys were running all over the place because there were rocks flying all over the place, but it was amazing," said Joe Mecca. "Lucky the guy on the machine didn't get hurt. There was a guy actually running through the water because they had machinery here and it was getting wet."

One of those flying rocks smashed the windshield of a box truck belonging to Enterprise Machine & Tool and the sheer force of that water caused the roof of the cab to cave in.

No one was hurt and that was lucky, given it took about two hours for the water company to get the geyser under control, creating quite a scene in this part of Scranton.

"I thought they were adding a water park to the redevelopment of the lace works!" laughed Frank Peffer. "The geyser was as high as the telephone pole this morning when I came in."

Pennsylvania American Water says about 40 customers are without water because of this.

This is separate from another, smaller, water main break in the Dunmore area. Pennsylvania American Water expects both to be fixed on Friday.

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