Crews work to repair water main break near Oklahoma & Logan

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The unusually warm weather on Monday, January 13th may have created an unusual problem on Milwaukee's south side. A water main break forced employees out of an AT&T office near Oklahoma and Logan on Monday morning -- and four hours later, crews still couldn't pinpoint where the water was coming from.

A battalion chief who responded to the scene on Monday says he has never seen a water main break where crews couldn't find the break itself.

Initially, the leak did not affect homes in the area -- but it did affect at least one restaurant in the area.

Police closed many streets around the AT&T building as crews tended to the water main break -- and the detours brought the lunch hour at the neighboring Gyro Stand to a stand-still.

"We open at 11 and it's busy until about 1 o'clock but it seems like they know - from a couple blocks when they see this, and instead of coming down here, they detour," restaurant owner Peter Nassiopoulos said.

The roads remained closed well into the afternoon because crews had a hard time finding the source of the leak.

"Usually, you see it bubble through the street, like yeah - right there, it's really easy to find. Not in this case," Battalion Chief Steve Gleisner said.

Officials say the huge swing in temperature over the past seven days could be responsible for the break.

"It may have had a very big role. Sometimes, when the ground swells from a real big freeze then thaws, it can keep a pipe when it's frozen and kind of contain it because the ground is frozen and then when it drops back down, possibly, then it can fail," Gleisner said.

Meanwhile, staff at the Gyro Stand served when it could on Monday, with the owners saying they'll view this day as special.

"Just like we close New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, let's say it's another holiday -- a tax write-off or whatever," Nassiopoulos said.

A spokesman for AT&T says later Monday afternoon, the water stopped flowing into the building, and employees were able to come back inside.

He says the flood did not affect anyone's phone or internet service.