The first strange thing Esther Evans noticed when looking out the window of her North Post home Wednesday afternoon was a change in the traffic pattern.
Cars weren’t traveling on Wellesley. They were moving on Princeton.
The second strange thing she noticed was what was traveling down Wellesley and Post.
Water. Lots of water.
“Wellesley was a river,” Evans said. So was Post and nearby Lincoln.
Water gushed up through cracks in the asphalt in the middle of the intersection to create the rivers.
City Water Department officials said a 6-inch castiron water main broke some 5 feet below the roadway. The water flowed freely down the three streets until crews located and closed the shutoff valves.
In the meantime, the water turned Wellesley’s traffic islands into true islands. The flash flood was controlled mostly by curbs and sloping sidewalks and ran downhill - or downstream - to storm sewers.
A Water Department supervisor couldn’t estimate how much water had flowed down the streets but said it could have been worse. The same area has an 18-inch water main.
City crews cut through the asphalt and dug up the intersection Thursday to locate and repair the main.
Wellesley will be restricted to one lane, each way, around the intersection this morning but should be fully open for evening commuters.