The City of Montreal and the Southwest borough are assessing the damage after Saturday’s water main break led to power outages and a boil water advisory for some parts of the Saint-Henri neighbourhood.
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Firefighters were called to St. Antoine Street and Brewster Avenue around 11 a.m. when a breach in a 76-centimetre water line caused several streets to flood and water to gush as high as nine metres in the air.
Martin Galarneau, an operations chief with Montreal’s fire department, says the break was likely caused by private contractors doing excavation work. But what happened exactly is still unclear.
“There was road work being done on the street and as they were moving the earth around, something happened. Either the bucket of the excavator hit the pipe or, with the ground moving, the pipe lost its footing and then it broke,” he said.
A boil water advisory is in effect for residents who live in the sector bordered by Atwater Avenue and St. Antoine, St. Jacques and de Courcelle streets.
More than 1,500 Hydro-Quebec customers had no electricity at one point on Saturday. By Sunday morning, all but 18 had regained power.
Galarneau said all things considered, the damages could have been worse.
“No water went in basements,” he said, noting that’s where electrical wiring is usually located and was a major concern for firefighters.
“Right now there was no water damage. All the street pipes were able to do their job and collect all the extra water,” he added.
The area around the break has been closed off but all streets are open to traffic again.