BANKSVILLE (KDKA)- Tom Lambert’s basement is ruined.

He says when the water main broke on Potomac Avenue in Banksville around 3 a.m. Friday, water rose in his basement, as high as the ceiling.

“I turned the TV off and I opened the window and went, ‘Oh my God,'” said Lambert standing on his front porch.

Crews from Pennsylvania American Water are repairing the break in the century-old 20-inch cast-iron main, in 20 degree weather.

Josephine Posti, external affairs manager for Pennsylvania American Water said, “They (crews) do have to come in from the cold on a regular basis and warm up in their vehicles. They also wear additional protective equipment both to protect cold and prevent slipping on icy surfaces, but they will be working until this is repaired.”

Posti said there was damage to four homes in the area, and three businesses. Those businesses include Banksville Quality Auto, where the cars looked like they were in a river, rather than a parking lot.

“Everything’s floating. Everything’s five feet underwater,” said A.J. Mcquillan. “My son’s Regal. My Camaro. Customers cars. My Cadillac. Everything.”

Once the water main is repaired, the water should be restored. In the meantime, Penn American brought in a water buffalo for residents for the 80-100 residents effected by the water main break. They’re also offering other assistance, such as help with rental cars and getting space heaters.

(Photo Credit: Heather Abraham/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Heather Abraham/KDKA)

Jean Killeen, who’s car and basement were both flooded, said, “You don’t know what to do in this situation, until you’re in it, and they’re doing all the work. It’s been a pleasant surprise.”

Posti added that with the expected snow storm this weekend, Pennsylvania American will only be responding to emergency calls this weekend. And once the water is restored, they’ll issue a boil advisory, urging residents affected by the water main break to boil their water for one minute before using it for cooking or drinking. Pennsylvania American will let the residents know when the boil advisory has been lifted.

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Heather Abraham