Shattered glass and evacuations in massive Montgomery Co. water main break

A water main break on Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Montgomery County, Maryland, damages windows of several town houses. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
A water main break on Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Montgomery County, Maryland, damaged windows of several town houses. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service) (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
A water main break causes damage to homes in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Thursday, June 6, 2019.  (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
A water main break causes damage to homes in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Thursday, June 6, 2019. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service) (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
A water main break opens up a sinkhole in a town house complex in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Thursday, June 6, 2019.  (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
A water main break opens up a sinkhole in a town house complex in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Thursday, June 6, 2019. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service) (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
WSSC says repairs are underway after a water main break in Montgomery County, Maryland, on June 6, 2019. (Courtesy WSSC)
WSSC says repairs are underway after a water main break in Montgomery County, Maryland, on June 6, 2019. (Courtesy WSSC) (Courtesy WSSC)
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A water main break on Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Montgomery County, Maryland, damages windows of several town houses. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
A water main break causes damage to homes in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Thursday, June 6, 2019.  (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
A water main break opens up a sinkhole in a town house complex in Montgomery County, Maryland, on Thursday, June 6, 2019.  (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)
WSSC says repairs are underway after a water main break in Montgomery County, Maryland, on June 6, 2019. (Courtesy WSSC)

A “significant” water main break at Thomas Choice West neighborhood of Montgomery Village in Gaithersburg, Maryland, forced dozens of residents to evacuate Thursday afternoon.

Roughly 30 town houses were evacuated, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer.


It happened on the 9600 block of Brassie Way. The break caused a massive sinkhole to open in the middle of the street.

Three town houses have been deemed unsafe, and crews helped occupants of these units to gather their belongings. The inspector said that so much water in such a short period of time put a load on the first floor of one of the town houses that collapse is imminent, Piringer said.

Piringer estimates some 40 people were relocated to a nearby community center. Emergency management personnel, including staff with the Red Cross, were on site.

As of 3 a.m. Friday, WSSC said that repairs were completed and water service was restored to the area.

So far, no injuries have been reported.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission told WTOP that there were two other water main breaks in that same neighborhood this week.

WSSC inspectors are now looking at samples from all the broken pipes to determine the cause.

They said age could be a factor since pipes in that area are nearly 50 years old.

Below is the area where it happened.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.

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