By noon, the eastbound lanes of Queens Boulevard had reopened; Three westbound lanes were opened just before 2 p.m.. Queens Boulevard and Broadway had been blocked since the break occurred at about 8 a.m. at a construction site.
The water breached the site and flooded Queens Boulevard and Broadway, near the Queens Center Mall.
Eyewitness News Reporter Marcus Solis snapped a ground-level shot:
Update: smaller valves are closed, but primary source not isolated yet. Water still gushing. pic.twitter.com/xkQBURLFSZ— Marcus Solis (@MarcusSolis7) October 23, 2015
Construction crews had been operating at 51-35 Reeder Street in Queens when shoring pilings they were installing struck a water main. The work site quickly flooded but all workers were accounted for.
City Department of Environmental Protection workers worked to stem the water flow. They had a difficult time finding the exact valve to turn off because of the amount of water in the area. Just after 12 p.m., they succeeded in shutting off the main.
WEB EXTRA: Watch video of the gushing break from NewsCopter 7:
The water level in the area got up quite high:
Look at how high the water level is next to the trash cans. Water main break on Queens Blvd. pic.twitter.com/JGqjT5UciH— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) October 23, 2015
Here were the road closures as a result of the break:
- Queens Boulevard at the Queens Center Mall (both directions) between 51st and 55th avenues
- Broadway from Corona Avenue to Seabury Street
There were also delays on the Long Island Expressway.
Only one building was partially evacuated, according to the fire chief, but several buildings in the area and along Broadway were impacted.
On subways, trains are able to run through the area. Drains are catching water that has entered the subway system, but E, F, M and R subway trains are running with delays in both directions.
Westbound Q60 buses were running with delays.
Here's what it looked like at ground level when the break first happened:
(Image courtesy Instagram user: @yia_nni87)
Stay with abc7NY for the latest on this developing story.