CHICAGO
12/20/2011 06:07 pm ET

Pilsen Flooding: Water Main Break Soaks Chicago Neighborhood (VIDEO)

A water main that broke around 8:30 p.m. Monday flooded Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood through the night, leaving deep, standing water on Ashland between Cermak and 18th St. and flooding homes in the area Tuesday.

The cause of the rupture has not yet been released, but crews began work Tuesday replacing 12 feet of cast-iron pipe and contending with standing water and flood damage, a water department spokesperson told Fox Chicago. Unseasonably warm temperatures luckily prevented the water from freezing, and no residents' water supplies were affected.

Water reportedly rose to knee-level for some, but was reduced mostly to mud and puddles by 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, CBS Chicago reports. The new pipe segment replaces the section where a three-foot hole tore through the 84-year-old iron.

"It's a good example of why our aging infrastructure needs to be renewed," Water Management Department Commissioner Thomas Powers told CBS.

Alderman Danny Solis estimates that dozens of residents and businesses sustained expensive damages in the flooding, ABC Chicago reports. Few in the area have flood insurance.

"Basically, everything is destroyed in my basement," Resident Walter Green told ABC. "We're looking at about three to three and a half feet of water, and basically, I lost everything...It is a pretty terrible way to start the holidays."

Updating water management infrastructure was a priority in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's unanimously-passed 2012 budget. The mayor proposed increasing water and sewer fees to accommodate upgrades.

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