Pipe from 1887 bursts, floods Orange Avenue near downtown Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — North Orange Avenue near downtown Orlando reopened Tuesday morning after a pipe installed in 1887 burst, flooding the roadway and sinking the back half of an SUV on Monday.

Video sent to Channel 9 on Monday afternoon showed a man exiting the SUV that got stuck in a hole on the flooded street.

A water main break was reported shortly before 4:15 p.m. Monday at North Orange Avenue and Park Lake Street in the North Quarter district.

Watch video of the incident below:

Firefighters said the vehicle's rear tires were submerged because of the break.

Police said the break closed North Orange Avenue from East Colonial Drive to Park Lake Street.

"I thought maybe it was a fire hydrant or someone hit a fire hydrant, so I kept driving along," said R.J. Borum, whose vehicle got stuck in the hole. "I grabbed my wallet, my two phones, work backpack and laptop and just got out of there."

The Orlando Utilities Commission told Channel 9 that it believes the broken 12-inch pipe was laid in 1887, even older than a pipe that burst in the city's Thornton Park neighborhood in October.


Crews worked overnight to repair 12 feet of the pipe and the pavement. North Orange Avenue reopened at about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

OUC said it costs about $38,000 per city block to replace a pipe, and that it costs almost $200,000 per city block when factoring in asphalt, concrete, drainage and labor.

A project to replace the pipe remains in the design phase, OUC spokesman Tim Trudell said.

"The repair that was made last night was permanent," he said. "The road repair was permanent, as well."

Trudell said the agency is trying to figure out how it can better monitor the city's older pipes.

OUC said 300 residential and commercial customers were affected by a water outage.

They will need to boil their water until Thursday morning, the agency said.

Video shows man exiting vehicle after water main break near downtown Orlando

#BREAKING: A vehicle got stuck in a hole after a water main broke near downtown Orlando. Read: at.wftv.com/2U4APAw

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Monday, March 25, 2019

Interviewing the man who was in that car when it fell into the ground. Bad watermain break in downtown Orlando!

Posted by Lauren Seabrook WFTV on Monday, March 25, 2019

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