Roads closed, homes flooded as water main breaks in Northwest DC

Water gushes from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Water gushes from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Water gushes from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOp/Dave Dildine)
Water gushes from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Canal Road is closed due to water and debris from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Canal Road is closed due to water and debris from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Some of the pavement on Clark Place was heaved by the water from the MacArthur Boulevard water-main break. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A sinkhole opened up on MacArthur Boulevard as pavement and sidewalks buckled following the water-main break. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Several inches of water gushed into the lowest level of an apartment building off MacArthur Boulevard. (Courtesy David Payne)
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Water gushes from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Water gushes from a broken water main on MacArthur Boulevard. (WTOp/Dave Dildine)
Some of the pavement on Clark Place was heaved by the water from the MacArthur Boulevard water-main break. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — Roads in the Palisades neighborhood of Northwest D.C. were blocked and residents were trying to bail themselves out after a water main broke Wednesday on MacArthur Boulevard.

MacArthur Boulevard remained blocked in both directions between Reservoir and Foxhall roads due to the water main repairs Thursday morning.

D.C. Water says it does not know how long the the repairs are expected to take. Drivers should expect delays.

The break occurred near Q Street at about noon Wednesday.

Canal Road had been closed to traffic between Arizona Avenue and Foxhall Road because of water and debris that fell downhill; it reopened at about 4:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Some sections of asphalt on Clark Place and Q Street have been heaved by the force of the water running downhill from the boulevard. Many residents have several inches of standing water in their basements, and several feet in their garages.

John Lisle, of D.C. Water, said the broken, cast iron pipe was believed to be 30 inches in diameter and over 150 years old. The pipe may have been installed before the Civil War.

Lisle said some customers were without water, though he characterized the number as “relatively few.” The break has been found and the water turned off, but the repairs are underway — and then the road must be fixed.

WTOP’s Dave Dildine and Colleen Kelleher contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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