Water main break in Houston strands drivers

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In this aerial photo, water is slowly draining from the freeway after a water main break east of the location flooded all lanes, closing the freeway in both directions, at the intersection of 610 and Clinton Drive, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in east Houston. Businesses and schools shut down Thursday after a main line from a plant that supplies water to about half of Houston burst open, submerging vehicles on the flooded freeway. (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — Businesses and schools shut down Thursday after a main line from a plant that supplies water to about half of Houston burst open, submerging vehicles on a flooded freeway and prompting emergency officials in the nation’s fourth-largest city to deploy tanker trucks to mitigate any fire hazards.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said the major break had been valved off but water would continue to flow for the next six to eight hours.

The flooding submerged vehicles on an eastern section of Loop 610, a highway that circles the city.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted early Thursday afternoon that all occupants were out of flooded vehicles.

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