Queens water main break floods streets, disrupts water service

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Stacey Sager has the latest details.

A water main break closed streets and flooded basements in the Elmhurst section of Queens overnight Wednesday, leaving dozens of people still without water by late afternoon.

The 12-inch cast iron main, more than 80 years old, broke on 60th Avenue just after midnight.
A look at the broken main:

Basements and one parking garage were flooded.

The main was capped, but gas was shut off for repairs. City officials were trying to assure more than 200 residents affected that they are tending to the problem quickly.

Sleepy residents may have thought it was a bad dream, but the gushing water didn't take long to give residents and car owners a reality check.

"It looked like you could go white water rafting, it was really that bad," said Elmhurst resident Michelle Pickering.

When Solange Brady stepped into work Thursday morning, she just wanted to step back out.

"My business got flooded, carpet got completely ruined, I mean it's horrible," said Elmhurst business owner Solange Brady.

Eric Landau, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection deputy commissioner, said the break was located and repairs had been underway since earlier in the morning.

He said he hoped to have water fully restored to customers by Thursday afternoon.

The following locations are impacted:

-- 99-10 60th Avenue - six story building with 67 residential units. There is flooding in the basement. Gas has been shut off for repairs and there are no issues with electricity.
-- 99-11 60th Avenue - six story building with 136 residential units. There is flooding in the parking garage, but it is not affecting the building.
-- 99-25 60th Avenue and 99-45 60th Avenue - four buildings total in the housing area, impacting 250 residents. Officials are assessing the situation to provide an estimated time of restoration.

But once workers capped the main, a slimy mess was left in the road, which had buckled, followed by hours of jack hammering.

Robert Arzola, an Elmhurst resident, said of the cars parked on teh streets when the flood water started to rise, "A lot of people are gonna have a lot of car damage, brakes and motors, a lot of interior damage."

Ninety-Ninth Street was closed from 59th Avenue to the Long Island Expressway for repairs, but had reopened; 60th Avenue was closed from 99th Street to Calloway Street.

The cause of the break is under investigation.
Related Topics:
queens newswater main breakElmhurstNew York City
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