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Broken water main floods Forbes Avenue

A 24-inch water main broke this morning on Forbes Avenue in Uptown, flooding the street and forcing Mercy Hospital into emergency management mode.

The break occurred at about 7 a.m. between Moultrie Street and the Birmingham Bridge, said Holly Wojcik, spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority. Crews contained the break by 9:15 a.m. and were to reroute water to affected customers, Wojcik said.

Mercy Hospital, however, is closed to admissions and ambulance arrivals, and canceled all surgeries.

Hospital spokeswoman Linda Ross said water service was restored to Mercy byabout 9 a.m., but the water pressure was weak.

Wojcik called Mercy’s decision to close “premature.”

A Duquesne University spokeswoman said the school was temporarily without water, but service was restored by 9 a.m.

Wojcik said water pressure at Mercy and Duquesne University was “extremely low,” but no customer lost service completely.

During the morning rush, deep pools of water formed on Forbes and Second avenues. Vehicles slowed down as drivers plowed through the six-inch deep water. Traffic on Second Avenue moved slowly through the area near the MetalTech Building, parallel to the Eliza Furnace Trail.

Traffic on the Birmingham Bridge from the South Side was slow, but it appeared to be due to the closure of the right exit lane toward Forbes rather than the water main break below.


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