Cleanup work continued through Wednesday evening after a water main break and a series of manhole fires in Boston's Theater District near Chinatown early in the morning.
Traffic on Washington Street and others was impacted all day as crews dealt with the situation. Images from the scene showed some streets completely covered in water.
Normally slammed during the lunch hour, Ziad Odeh of Boston Kitchen Pizza had time to talk on Wednesday.
"Usually a line out the door," Odeh said. "I have a lot of customers and as you can see, we have no one at all."
The restaurant is one of more than a dozen businesses that was forced to close as the streets flooded and several fires that sent thick dark smoke billowing into the air from manholes.
"It is awful, it is like a war zone out there," Odeh said, estimating missing lunch would cost him a couple of thousand dollars.
For a little while, the restaurant was still filling takeout orders. That changed by mid-afternoon after a firefighter came in, tested the air and ordered everyone out. The carbon monoxide levels inside were dangerously high.
"CO levels are very high concern," Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said. "We have very high CO levels when we arrived in the 7-to-800 parts per million, which is very dangerous."
An area hostel also had to be evacuated.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh blamed the mess on the city's century-old infrastructure.
"Some of these pipes have been in the ground for decades, some a century long, certainly something we are working on, but Boston is an old city, and we have old infrastructure throughout the entire city of Boston, so we will work with them on it," he said.
The city says due to the nature of the damage, affected businesses will have to go through a health inspection before they can open again.
Many business owners said they hoped to open by Thursday.
The water flow was cut off around 8:15 a.m., nearly three hours after a flooded Washington Street closed.
By evening, the water main had been fixed and crews continued fixing the street that had been damaged, hoping to get the area back open to pedestrians and vehicles for the morning commute.