Inquirer staff writer Sam Wood reports:

A 30-inch water main broke early this morning in the city's Kensington section spilling tens of thousands of gallons into residential basements and leaving a yawning crater in the middle of the roadway.

The main erupted about 1:30 a.m. on the 2100 block of 4th Street, said Laura Copeland, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Water Department.

"We're still assessing the damage," Copeland said. "So far, we have eight homes with water in their basements. It could increase."

Morning commuters should expect detours through the neighborhood. The Streets Department has closed Susquehanna Ave. to 5th Street, and 4th Street from Diamond to Susquehanna, Copeland said.

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