A couple of big water main breaks in Winnipeg on Monday caused traffic problems during the afternoon rush hour and created headaches for staff at a St. James hotel.

The Clarion Hotel has no water because of a water main break on Eastway and Empress Street.

The hotel's building manager told CBC News that the water was about a metre above the ground before the main was shut off, covering the bumpers of some cars.

Polo Park Shopping Centre, which is next door, posted on Twitter that its food court and bathrooms are closed on Monday evening because of the water main break.

Another water main break flooded Wall Street between Ellice and Sargent avenues.

Shelagh Stornel, who works nearby, said she had been watching people trying to drive on the flooded street since 1:30 p.m.

"It looks like it's a river going down Wall. The water's halfway up some of the tires," she said.

"Some people are trying to go through it, some people start and then back up."