A torrent of water spewed from a broken main Wednesday, scrambling rush-hour motorists and closing at least one west Salt Lake business.

Thousands of gallons flooded the intersection of North Temple and Redwood Road at 5:30 p.m. and licked at the door of a Denny's Restaurant on the southwest corner."I was worried because it was gushing this way," Denny's district manager Peter Blodgett said, looking at a water line only two steps away from the restaurant's main entrance. "We can't operate without water; it was only a matter of time before we closed." The restaurant was closed for several hours.

Gushing water from the 12-inch main tore through pavement in the middle of Redwood Road southbound lanes. A few motorists tried to negotiate the water but stalled after passing through the 2-foot pool.

"When I got here it was shooting 6-feet into the air," Salt Lake public utilities worker Curtis Ainsworth said.

Public utilities workers weren't sure why the main broke but said many of Salt Lake City's large water pipes are old.

"They're cast iron and decrepit," field supervisor Mark Noble said. "It's springtime and the ground moves a lot; but I don't know, it could have been anything."

Investigators worked most of the night to determine what caused the break.