A burst water main has forced evacuations from a shop on lower Crown Street, with pedestrians being warned to steer clear due to concerns the pavement could collapse.
Fire and Rescue NSW Wollongong acting duty commander Andy Barber said staff members and customers were evacuated from Lee & Me cafe just before 10am, after the main broke out the front of the cafe.
"The water main has failed under the pavement, which is at risk of collapse, so the cafe needed to be evacuated," he said.
"Police have also barricaded the area off due to safety concerns for pedestrians."
Emergency services were called to the scene around 10am on Tuesday.
Fire and Rescue units and police remain on scene, along with council staff.
A Lee & Me staff member said some water and dirt had flowed into the cafe, forcing them to close for the day. They hope to reopen tomorrow.
Staff from Wollongong council assisted Sydney Water in clean up efforts.
"Our staff have assisted in making the area safe, the footpath is now closed while Sydney Water go about their repair work," a council spokeswoman said.
"Council have delivered a number of pallets which will make it easier for Sydney Water crews to remove, stack and then re-lay the paving that has been shifted as a result of the burst main," she said.
A Sydney Water spokesperson said the water main break occurred around 9.30am.
"Safety is our number one priority and our crews were on site quickly to isolate the break within about 30 minutes.
"Our crews have commenced urgent repairs to restore water supply to a number of affected customers. This is expected to be completed by this evening."
The spokesperson said a Sydney Water customer advocate was on site assisting affected customers, with two cafes affected by water entering their shops.
"Investigations are underway into what caused the break, and we're working with the local community to help restore amenities and services as soon as possible after the repairs are completed.
"Sydney Water sincerely apologises to affected customers and motorists and thanks them for their patience."