Residents were woken by a flood of water early on Tuesday morning as water surged through a residential street in Port Melbourne.
Up to 50 homes on Liardet Street were initially threatened by the flood, as pressurised water sprayed from the burst 375-millimetre pipe.
3AW caller Vanessa Proctor said the flooding was substantial.
“My cat was swimming in the backyard,” she said.
Another woman told 3AW she thought it was a tsunami, given the street’s proximity to the bay.
State Emergency Service volunteers sandbagged properties and removed furniture from some homes.
Spokesman Stesan Delatovic said up to a dozen properties were initially thought to be under threat from the rising water.
Ultimately, three homes were damaged by ankle-deep water and three cars were damaged.
South East Water spokeswoman Caitlin Rode said the damage was caused by pressurised water escaping from a 375mm water main at the corner of Little Cruikshank and Liardet streets.
Repair crews arrived within 15 minutes and are still on site.
Engineers will investigate the cause of the burst.
Liardet Street remained closed at 8am.