ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The bitter blast is being blamed for a water main break in Elizabeth early Tuesday morning.

The water main burst around 5:15 a.m., turning the intersection at Summer Street and Maple Avenue into a frozen mess.

Water gushed from the cracked street for hours, which seemed to keep the middle of the intersection from completely freezing over, but the outer portions turned rock solid in the single-digit deep-freeze, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported.

Many residents awoke to arctic temperatures and the unwelcome news that their cars were lodged in a huge block of ice.

“It’s completely in ice,” said resident Sonia Tul,” It’s gonna be a challenge. It’s very icy.”

“It’s really, really intense,” said resident Ruben Diario.

Residents said they experienced a similar water main break here last year and that it took days to dig out, but they’re expecting a much worse scenario with today’s record-breaking low temps.

“I’m afraid coming home is gonna be even worse if this is all ice and how far is it gonna go up,” Tul said.

Police kept the intersection clear of traffic as water rose up; what didn’t freeze drained into catch basins and the nearby Elizabeth River, Brown reported.

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