By Robbie Owens

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – In Dallas, crews are working around the clock to repair a major water main break that’s snarled traffic in the Medical District since Wednesday evening.

City leaders say they still don’t know what caused the 36-inch water pipeline to fail. But, the flooding and the muddy aftermath have been a major inconvenience for nearby businesses.

“We were watching the water and we said, you know, we’re going to get flooded here!” says Agustin Martinez, at the J.Pepe’s restaurant on Stemmons Freeway.

Martinez says the rising water reached the curb at the front door, but fortunately came no further.

Still, the potential for damage didn’t stop there. “We were blessed to have customers here,” says Martinez. “It generated a little bit of business for us. But, on the flip side, people couldn’t get to us because the roads were closed.”

Martinez says employees who couldn’t reach their vehicles because of the rising water cooled their heels for awhile in the restaurant; but, it wasn’t nearly enough. “I would say that it affected probably 60% of our sales.”

Employees were sent home early, and when it became apparent that the break would not be a quick fix, Martinez cut staffing for today.

“It was a total mess!” says Eva Martin, with the Stemmons Towers management company. “Anytime that we have to shut off our water, it affects our air conditioning and our cooling towers and our restrooms, so we were trying to figure out how we were still going to be in business.”

Martin says the water main break has created a lot of extra work for building engineers—and extra worry, as well. The receding water left behind more than a foot of mud and muck.

“So, it was really slippery, so we were concerned that our tenants– even this morning– were going to slip and fall.”

And while Martinez says he never intended to have a waterside restaurant, he’s grateful that the stranded motorists kept the evening from being a total washout.

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