Jul 14, 2016 12:49 PM

UPDATE: Sinkhole - and huge water main break that caused it - close Manchester roads

NH1.com

MANCHESTER — Residents are being asked to be careful with their water usage after a large water main break early Thursday morning.

The break happened on Bridge Street Extension between Christy Lane and Mission Avenue. The road has been closed since.

“It was like whitewater rafting, like a big dam let go. I guess it’s one of the bigger ones with a lot of pressure,” Christina Fogarty said.

A large pipe and one of the main arteries on Fogarty’s Road flooded the entire Manchester neighborhood. One man shot footage on his cell phone of the water bubbling up from the ground just as crews were getting the water under control.

Crews are still trying to identify the cause of the break.

“They don’t know,” said Bruce Gosselin, the field supervisor of Manchester highways. “It could be just a stress crack on a pipe, and it just decided to let go.”

The roads buckled, and a sinkhole the size of a small swimming pool opened up as crews worked to repair the pipe and make the road accessible to local traffic. The process could take days.

“I saw them digging a lot, so I wonder if it’s deep under the pavement," said Jack Butchard - who knew something was wrong when he turned his faucet on and only air came out. "There’s a bunch of cracks everywhere so it must be a lot of water and a bunch of mud, I just got a new car and it’s all dirty.”

Crews are asking residents to have clean water on hand, but expect to have the pipe sealed overnight. The sinkhole may be the bigger problem, however.

“We woke up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom," Fogarty said. "We saw spotlights, and we went out and saw the big hole and were like, ‘oh my god.’”

The goal is to have clean water back on and at least have the road covered in gravel for local traffic by end of the day Thursday. In the days ahead road crews will get ready to repave the street.

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