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Water main break floods some Boston streets

A pedestrian jumped over water on Harrison Avenue at Kneeland Street after a water main break Sunday. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Crews were investigating a water main break in downtown Boston on Sunday that temporarily shut down ambulance traffic at Tufts Medical Center and forced the evacuation of a building.

Boston Water and Sewer Commision inspectors and Boston police officers and firefighters were called to an alley off Harrison Avenue and Kneeland Street at 8:03 a.m. after a 12-inch water main burst, according to Janet Taylor, an internal communications manager for Boston Water and Sewer.

Taylor said traffic was flowing on both sides of the main roads despite the break on Harvard Street, and no services were affected.

“No one is flooded [and] streets are not shut down,” Taylor said.


Tufts Medical Center was not accepting ambulance traffic for several hours and the water pressure was affected due to the break, Tufts said in a statement.

“We are able to safely care for patients and appreciate the work our team is doing to make accommodations,” the statement said. “We apologize for the inconvenience for patients and visitors. We are working with the city and receiving updates on their efforts to fix the break.”

Water pressure was restored and ambulance traffic was being accepted again by 11:50 a.m., according to Rhonda Mann, a spokeswoman for Tufts Medical Center.

Firefighters evacuated offices and classrooms at 35 Kneeland St., a building between Harvard Street and Harrison Avenue on Kneeland Street, after water was found in the basement, Boston Fire Department said in a tweet at 11:36 a.m.

Eversource Energy and National Grid were on scene and police officers were assisting with traffic as of 11 a.m., according to Boston Police Officer James Moccia.

Boston Water and Sewer inspectors were expected to be on the scene throughout the day to investigate.

Sabrina Schnur can be reached at sabrina.schnur@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @sabrina_schnur.