OC water main break wreaks havoc downtown

A water main burst under Seneca Street in Oil City late Friday afternoon, turning a portion of the street into a torrent and snarling traffic.

The water bubbled up into the street a little before 4:30 p.m. from the breech filling the street and spilled a little bit onto the nearby sidewalk as city workers sought to turn off the water.

Jason Herman, director of the Oil City water department, said the break occurred in the 100 block of Seneca Street in front of 100 Seneca, the former Mellon Bank building.

Oil City police directed the congested traffic in the downtown by Town Square.

Sycamore Street was closed at Elm Street and Seneca Street was closed at its intersection with Center Street to the Veterans Bridge.

Later, fire police from Cornplanter, Rouseville, Seneca and Rocky Grove volunteer fire departments came to assist police with traffic control as the traffic backed up on the four lanes between the Center Street and Petroleum Street bridges into the early evening, Venango County 911 said.

City crews continued to work into the evening at the site of the break.