UPDATE: Water main break sends steam billowing through manholes downtown on Ohio Street


Just before 11:00 Sunday morning, a water main break beneath the ground caused a thick cloud of steam to shoot up several feet into the sky downtown.

This happened along West Ohio Street, between Meridian and Illinois Streets, right in front of the Sheraton Hotel.

The pipe that deteriorated runs above a steam line and as that cold water came rushing down on to that hot line, steam came billowing up.

“The city has installed in several places new man hole covers that have keepers on them and what those do is if there is a buildup of pressure under the manhole, it actually keeps that manhole cover from being propelled in the air,” said Brad Morris with the Indianapolis Fire Department.

That means the man hole covers rise up just a few inches, but are locked down. 

No fires were reported.

Citizens is investigating, but believes aging infrastructure is to blame.

The network of pipes where this water main break took place date back to 1904.

Statement from Citizens Energy Group:
"Citizens Energy Group is responding to a water main break downtown on Ohio Street from Meridian Street to Illinois Street. Water from the main leaked onto one of Citizens’ steam lines which caused steam to rise up from various manholes along Ohio Street. The area has been blocked off so Citizens’ crews can repair the water main. The cause of water main break is likely due to aging infrastructure as the main was installed in 1904."

Department of Public Works put up barricades closing off Ohio Street between Meridian and Illinois into Sunday evening. Water service was restored and Ohio Street was re-opened around 8:15 p.m.

IFD says there are no injuries; however, one person had to be checked out due to anxiety.