The city worked through the night to repair the water main break on Forsyth Avenue
City work crews have filled in a large sinkhole near McMaster Children’s Hospital and University created when water from a broken pipe flooded nearby streets and the hospital’s underground parking garage.
It’s a major step in the cleanup of Monday afternoon’s watermain break, which also flooded a nearby home and left 6 residences without water overnight.
But much work remains.
The streets at King West and Forsyth are covered in frozen mud and slick ice patches, it’s made the walk to and from classes harder, but it’s also an added challenge for accessing the children’s Hospital from the east.
The underground parking garage at the hospital remains flooded, and fully draining it is expected to take until some time Wednesday. Two hoses snake up the slick ice near the entrance, to dump excess water into the sewage drain.
A water main below Forsyth Avenue burst around 3:30 p.m. Monday. Just a few hours later the flooding had been stopped, but the cleanup had only begun.
Tuesday morning six houses were without water service, and one house, 9 Forsyth Avenue, had been flooded throughout the basement.
“There’s at least four inches of water in there,” said Deyan Bodrozic, an electrician who came on-site to turn off the furnace switch at 9 Forsyth.
The house is on a student lease, and residents were evacuated last night by the Fire Department. A bad night for anyone during December, but especially for McMaster students who have exams until the 22 of December.
“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” said Bodrozic, who’s been an electrician for five years. “It’s not nice to be there when you see the emotions on people’s faces. It sucks.”
Tuesday Forsyth Avenue at King Street and Arnold street remained blocked off, and city crews finished work on the water main. But a lot of work remains on the street.
Tom Perry, spokesman for Hamilton Health Sciences, said “the draining is going very well” but it is unclear when the job will be done.
Still there has been no impact to the services or function of the hospital, and visitors will be able to park underground “once it’s clean and safe,” he said.
In the meantime parking has been made available for staff and visitors on McMaster campus, and city officials are there today to help direct traffic.
But with the icy conditions, people are recommended to just stay away from the mud and ice all together.
“If you’ve managed to avoid this area, please continue to do so,” said Acting Water Director Mark Bainbridge.
Bainbridge admits that although the flooding was stopped quickly, the clean up is taking “longer than expected.”
For those still going to the Children’s hospital, patients and visitors to the hospital can park in the South Garage, through short-term parking on the main entrance level.
Parking is available for staff and physicians at the Ward Avenue lot, and on lots ‘I’ and ‘M’ on the university campus.