Phil Luciano of the Journal Star @lucianophil
Sep 20, 2018 at 6:12 PM
PEORIA — A water-main break sent a massive geyser of water above the 3000 block of West Lake Avenue late Thursday afternoon.
From a roadside hole 4 feet across, the plume of water blasted almost 50 feet skyward through overhead power lines, forming a growing lake on roadside grass. Just past 5 p.m., residents said the gusher had been flowing for more than 90 minutes, and at one time had been chucking rocks and pavement into the air.
About 5:15 p.m., Peoria police officers blocked off the street. Illinois American Water crews arrived before 6 p.m.
However, water could not immediately be turned off, said Karen Cotton, spokeswoman for Illinois American. Before digging into the earth to access the main, crews first needed to consult JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) to locate any gas lines or other underground utility connections, to ensure the safety of workers.
The break occurred just off the south side of the pavement. In a grassy front yard in front an empty retail structure, water pooled, then flowed southward in back of nearby apartments.
In the meantime, endless gallons of water rocketed past multiple overhead power lines.
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” a nearby resident said. “Those lines are going to break and fall across a car.”
The geyser was shut down early in the evening, and Illinois American crews later repaired the main completely. Cotton said there was no impact to the road.
However, about 50 customers are under a boil order, which could last until Friday night. Illinois American will make an announcement when the boil order is lifted.