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Steam from manhole shuts roads on Cambridge side of Museum of Science

Ed. note: Post updated with fact it was steam, not smoke from a fire.

The Cambridge Fire Department reports what appeared to be smoke was actually just steam from a manhole at Land Boulevard and the Monsignor O'Brien Highway shortly after 7 p.m.

Still, police shut the roads down by the Museum of Science as a precaution until firefighters could confirm that.

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Comments

There are several stream lines around there: it's common to see "smoke" coming up from a manhole around there. Bet that's what it is, and given the other news up north someone panicked.

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If Cambridge firefighters are anything like the ones in Boston, they know the locations of all the steaming manholes in the city, and they know not to call in the police to shut traffic at a major intersection unless they've confirmed they have an actual explosion rather than just some steam.

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See post below - it was a steam-line manhole.

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Sometimes these things develop leaks and vent so much steam that road users cannot see. That would be a major concern.

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I drove through there right around that time as usual (before the road was shut it seems) and noticed that there was smoke/steam coming from a manhole in the intersection and thought it was strange. Usually if there's steam coming from the ground it's a block up in front of the hotel. Don't know if it was a fire but it was definitely out of the ordinary. I drove right over it to take a right towards the tunnel, glad it didn't explode under my car lol

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I so called this!

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Sympathetic explosion for the Merrimack.

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"This was steam from the steam-line manholes, a good intent call but a normal condition."
https://twitter.com/CambridgeMAFire/status/1040399765064884224

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I've rewritten the original post to reflect reality.

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Oh, it was one of those things on the street. At first glance I thought it was something else.

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