EAST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (WPRI) — A massive water main break in Massachusetts has left thousands of people with little or no water, and it opened up a sinkhole that nearly swallowed a pickup truck.
A 24-inch pipe ruptured in East Bridgewater early Wednesday morning, disrupting the water supply to neighboring Brockton and Whitman. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency instituted a boil water advisory for those communities, urging residents to not use tap water for drinking or cooking.
The break is also affecting water service for some homes and businesses in East Bridgewater, Hanson and Pembroke.
MEMA said crews will continue to work on repairs overnight, and they hope to have service restored by Thursday morning.
Once the break is repaired, the water supply will be tested. If no bacterial contamination is found for 24 hours, the boil water advisory will be lifted.
The pipe burst right under a driveway in East Bridgewater and created a sinkhole within minutes. The man who lives there managed to get several of his family’s cars out of harms way, but could not save his pickup truck in time.
“I looked out my bedroom window and it looked like the Atlantic Ocean out here,” recalled David Palmquist. “I ran downstairs, grabbed two of my daughter’s cars, got them out of there. Got my wife’s car out of there. Then I went in my garage to try to get my truck out of there. All of a sudden it just dropped out like five feet. I tried to put it in four-wheel drive but it wasn’t coming out.”
An emergency water distribution was held Wednesday at four Brockton schools to provide families with fresh bottles of water. Extra bottled water is also being delivered to Brockton Hospital, where some elective surgeries had to be canceled because of low water pressure.