Greenwich Village water main break floods streets, disrupts trains

Rob Nelson reports
January 15, 2014 5:33:19 PM PST
A huge water main break in Lower Manhattan flooded streets, forced road closures and caused mass transportation disruptions early Wednesday.

The 36-inch cast iron main, which dates back to before 1900, broke on East 13th Street and Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village just after midnight.

Department of Environmental Protection crews were on the scene all night, working to determine the source of leak.

A number of mains run through the intersection, and several had to be temporarily shut down, suspending water service to the immediate area. Workers methodically went main-by-main until they determined which one was broken. The flow of water has stopped, but repairs are not yet complete. Officials expect that will take at least a day or two, as the street was also damaged by water pressure.

A handful of buildings along Fifth Avenue between 14th and 12th streets will not have water. The side blocks are being restored.

A public school in the area also had to be relocated as a result of the break. Students of PS 226, located at 12 West 12th Street, were moved to the High School for Health Professions and Human Services.

The FDNY had 12 Units and 60 firefighters helping to contain the area. The Office of Emergency Management and Con Edison were also on the scene.

No injuries were reported.

Fifth Avenue is closed between 12th Street and 13th Street, and motorists are advised to expect traffic delays and emergency personnel in the area.

There were service changes affecting the B, C, D, E, F, M, and Q lines as crews cleared the water from the tracks, but full service has since resumed.

Buses in the area are also being detoured due to street closures.

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