Aging infrastructure is being blamed for a water main break that forced the evacuation of several residential blocks in East Vancouver.

The ruptured pipe sent geysers of water into the air and down the road at Nanaimo Street between 27th and 29th avenues around 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Firefighters, police and City of Vancouver water works staff all attended. They managed to shut off the water, but not before several homes were affected.

Homeowner Juliana Li said she had about an inch of water on the floor.

"I just heard some water trickling down and ran downstairs and I saw water in my basement," she told CTV Morning Live.

Damien Goudin was surprised to be woken up in the middle of the night by police and told to leave his home.

"They evacuated the house. They told us it was too dangerous to stay in the house," he said, adding that his family was told to wait on a bus.

The break caused damage to all four lanes of the road, according to the City of Vancouver. A large hole filled with water was left in the middle of the road and crews needed to dig down to get a closer look at the pipe.



Traffic was shut down to a single lane in either direction, although repairs are not expected to be completed for at least a day.

Director of Engineering Daniel Roberge said the water main was built in 1961, and described the incident as a "major break."

Although it is normally a swing in temperature that causes a pipe to rupture, the city is still unclear what happened.

The water main was scheduled for replacement within the next five years. 

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim