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Broken Water Line Floods Rogers Park Street, Putting Cars in Deep Freeze

By Benjamin Woodard | January 8, 2015 5:26pm
 A water line in Rogers Park broke and flooded the intersection of Farwell and Lakewood avenues.
A water line in Rogers Park broke and flooded the intersection of Farwell and Lakewood avenues.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Waking up to a cold car is a sad reality of Chiberia. But waking up to a car frozen in 8 inches of water is something else all together.

That's what some Rogers Park car owners might experience Friday after a water line broke and flooded portions of Farwell and Lakewood avenues.

As temperatures hovered around 10 degrees, crews worked to clear water that flooded the street up to about 8 inches and fix a 3-4 inch service line that likely broke due to cold weather, said Gary Litherland, a spokesman for the city's Department of Water Management.

A dozen cars were parked along the street in standing water. Ice was beginning to form Thursday afternoon.

"If they can, they should move their cars," Litherland, who was at the scene, said by phone.

But some car owners disregarded his warnings in an attempt to snag a usually great parking spot in crowded Rogers Park.

"I just pulled out of there," he said. "There was somebody trying to park in the water. ... People get really crazy about parking spaces."

The city was using a tractor to move snow and slush away from sewer drains.

Despite the work, a man on a bicycle attempted to ford the flooded street. He wasn't able to maintain his balance and fell into the slushy water. He let out a yelp, quickly got up and ran to drier ground with his bike.

Litherland said a few buildings would be without water as crews excavate the water line. He said — "barring any major complications" — the city expects to have water restored in four to eight hours.

By 8:30 a.m. Friday morning most of the water had been drained from the intersection. Several residents on Lakewood Avenue were struggling to move their vehicles from the frozen slush that remained.

"The water main break really screwed things up," said one woman.

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