Thursday's massive water main break near the East Loop is causing businesses, homes and schools to shut down from the Ship Channel to Montrose neighborhood.
Mayor Sylvester Turner says crews were digging to fix an already broken line when it burst wide open. He says it may take Public Works crews six to eight hours to close off the 96-inch pipe, and warns water pressure will remain extremely low in much of the city.
"I anticipate what we'll probably have to boil water in the city of Houston for the next 24 hours, if you're part of Houston's water system," Turner said. "That does not include Kingwood for example, or Clear Lake."
HFD reports at least three people were rescued from vehicles along I-610 when water flooded the freeway. Highway 225 also was shut down, causing major traffic headaches in southeast Houston.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says the water main break also is having a trickle down effect throughout every level of government.
"We are taking care of the folks at the jail, making sure they're taken care of," she said. "The children in the Juvenile Detention facility downtown are being moved to the BBRC facility at Chimney Rock."
Meanwhile, both police and fire will remain positioned in the neighborhoods where residents were forced to abandon their homes.
"Do not worry about your homes. We have police officers patrolling the impacted neighborhoods. They will remain there until we restore access to homeowners," said HPD Chief Art Acevedo. "So to any criminal element that thinks they're going to be able to come in here and victimize members of our community, it's not going to happen."
These four images were taken from video recorded by SKY 2 of flooding in east Houston on Feb. 27, 2020.(From our TV News Partner KPRC)