LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Crews are working in the Shelby Park neighborhood near downtown Louisville to assess and repair the damage after a 48-inch water main ruptured early Tuesday morning, sending millions of gallons of rushing into the streets.

Louisville Water officials say it happened near the intersection of Oak and Clay sometime before 8 a.m. Crews have been working nonstop since then to find the cause of the break and repair it.

At one point Tuesday, the water was several feet high, coming up over car tires, covering sidewalks and reaching raised porches of homes.

Fire officials said three people were rescued: two passengers trapped in a van and the driver of a JCPS bus. 

MarySusan Abell, a communications manager for Louisville Water, says they now know there were breaks in two mains, and crews still have a lot of work to do before actual repairs can begin. 

"We had two main breaks actually yesterday," Abell said. "We had a 48-inch main break, and a 6-inch main break. So there's still water in the hole. Obviously, there's a lot of water to pump out. We're just trying to get everything clear so we can set up a safety zone and get our crews in there to check out the pipe." 

Abell says they hope to have water restored to affected customers by the end of the day, but added there's no guarantee that will happen. 

A boil water advisory remains in effect until further notice for about 4,000 people. Susan Abel says there's no word on when the advisory will be lifted. 

"We've got to get the mains working again, and we have to do some sample testing, and we'll see what happens after that," Abell said. 

Officials say the priority on Wednesday is restoring water service to approximately 30 customers near the break site at Oak and Clay Streets, and hope to complete the repair on a 6-inch water main by Wednesday evening.

During the next few days, crews will remove a section of the 48-inch main that broke and replace it with a new section of pipe. Repairs on that pipe are expected to continue through the weekend.

Traffic detours around Oak and Clay streets will remain in place until the repairs are finished.

A precautionary boil water advisory remains in effect for approximately 4,500 customers around the break site. 

Customers are being advised to bring all water used for drinking, food prep and cooking to a rolling boil for three minutes before consuming. Customers should not used chilled water lines or ice from automatic ice machines in refrigerators. There's no word yet on when the advisory will be lifted. 


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