Minneapolis officials say private contractors working on a development project at Hennepin Avenue and 2nd Street North hit and ruptured a 36-inch water main that delivers water to a large portion of the city Thursday afternoon, closing businesses, sending downtwon workers home early and snarling traffic in all directions.

Several streets, including Hennepin Avenue from Washington Avenue to the river, are currently closed. Police are on the scene for traffic control and Mayor Rybak is urging drivers to avoid the area.

At least the two million gallons of drinking water that Sioux Falls lost on New Years Day to a water main break, emptied into the Big Sioux River rather than down Main and Phillips Avenues downtown.