NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Commuters coming into downtown from the east, including Hermitage and Donelson, were being advised to find an alternate route for Wednesday morning.
Hermitage Avenue was shut down to traffic in both directions Tuesday evening because of a huge water main break. The road closure is between Fesslers Lane and Fairfield Avenue. Around 3:00 p.m. Tuesday crews starting working to repair a 36-inch water main there.
The pressure in the pipe buckled the sidewalk and then broke open the street with a loud boom, which witnesses said sent rocks flying into the air. Hermitage Avenue and other nearby streets were quickly turned into small rivers. Crews had to dig a huge hole in Hermitage Avenue to get to the main to make repairs.
Nearby businesses got quite a surprise, and some were even flooded. "We we were in the office and we heard these loud thuds and thumps, and I thought something had run up against the wall or someone threw a ladder up against the wall," said Lin Tacker with Battery Sales and Service. "I thought, well, who would be out on a day like this. Then we saw the water coming up to the windows and realized something else was going on."
"We knew something wasn't right," said Delena Slavin at Music City Smokehouse. "I thought the flood was happening again there for a minute."
Metro Water says only one home was without water as of late Tuesday night. As for repairs, crews are expected back out on Wednesday. Utility officials said it wasn't clear what caused the break or how long it would take to fix it.