BOSTON (WHDH) - After a water main broke in Chinatown during the morning commute, dumping about a foot of water on the city streets, a messy cleanup began.

Water flowed like a river down Washington Street, leaving residents to navigate around the mess.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. This was crazy,” said Ben Spensieri. “Definitely a first. There was about a foot of water… It was impressive.”

Boston Fire said they received the call at around 5:30 a.m. For the next several hours, crews worked to get the water leak under control. The water buckled the sidewalk and part of the street, and left debris everywhere.

“I see all the clay on the ground, all the smut, it was really crazy walking to work, my shoes were getting destroyed,” Spensieri said.

Boston Police and Fire have blocked off many main roads in the neighborhood from traffic, from Kneeland Street to LaGrange Street, and are warning people to steer clear of the area.

“Don’t walk through the water, you don’t know how deep it is,” said Brian Alkins, spokesperson for the Boston Fire Department. “There could be holes in there, there could be sinkholes, so try to avoid this area if possible, just until they clear it up. The area is taped off for safety reasons.”

The Boston Water Commission said they responded to a leak in the same area on Thursday, and that the water main is over 100 years old and was fixed 2000.

Officials also said the damage may remain for some time.

“We’re in the process of getting this repaired as soon as possible,” said Thomas Bagley of the Boston Water Commission. He advised people to stay away for “at least most of the day.”

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