In reality, it took about 45 minutes, with Pilkerton being drenched to the bone by the torrent as he worked to manually turn off the valve.
"Just think of somebody with a fire hose, and they got it full blast and it's blasting you in the face," Pilkerton told ABC11. "Just think of all that pressure, and you're still trying to get a valve key down to turn it off so you can stop it."
The geyser that popped up in @RaleighGov today also blew out some car rear windows. We’re talking to man who contained the hydrant and got blasted by water for 45 minutes tonight. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/3iRgB0mTVO— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) December 14, 2018
Raleigh workers rushed to contain the watery eruption, which happened at Glenwood Avenue and Washington Street when a moving truck hit and took out the fire hydrant.
There did not appear to be any injuries, Raleigh Police told ABC11. Officers directed traffic while Pilkerton and other workers tried to get the situation under control.
"I came over the top of the hill on Glenwood there and there was water reaching above the power lines," Pilkerton said. "So I could see where the valve was, so I had to work my way into the water. Once I worked my way into the water, I had to work to get the valve lid off."
Pilkerton finally succeeded in getting the best of the geyser about 3:30 p.m.
"Once I could get down and turned the valve lid off, we put down there what we call a valve key to turn it off, so I got that down in there and I had to do turn after turn after turn," Pilkerton said.
Remember this crazy image from today? We talked to the man who was getting beaten down by fire hose of water for 45 minutes today. He finally shut it off in this @RaleighGov neighborhood. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/SxkIom96VQ— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) December 14, 2018
Margaret Richards owns an interior-design shop on the corner of Washington and Glenwood.
"I look up and see a moving truck try and turn the corner, and all I could see it doing was clipping the corner and hopping up on the curve," Richards said. "It was pretty crazy and just rocks were flying everywhere, gushing water and then it started hitting our cars and we were going to go out there and move our cars but then rocks started hitting the window."
The rocks did blow out some rear windows in the vehicles.
The water main is not damaged, Pilkerton said. The valve is still intact and the only thing that needs to be replaced is the hydrant.
The City of Raleigh has 60,000 valves, he told ABC11. They are checked frequently to make sure they're prepped for incidents such as this one.
Repair work on the hydrant continued late into the evening.
As for Pilkerton, some might consider him an everyday hero, albeit a soggy one.
"My pants are still soaked," he smiled. "All the rest of my wet stuff is in the back of the truck.
"That's what they pay me to do," he added. "That's my job."