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Water Main Break Causes Significant Flooding, Traffic Disruptions On Lower East Side

Streets are flooded following a Water Main Break at Delancey and Bowery Streets on Feb. 14, 2012. (credit: Jessica Schneider/CBS 2)

Streets are flooded following a Water Main Break at Delancey and Bowery Streets on Feb. 14, 2012. (credit: Jessica Schneider/CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Several Lower East Side businesses were still without water Tuesday afternoon after a massive water main break.

The intersection of Bowery and Delancey Street was submerged under a foot of water earlier after a 106-year-old main ruptured around 7 a.m.

“We weren’t able to do much because the water was coming in murky, you know, for the baby,” said resident Jose Rodriguez.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports

About a foot of water covered the busy Lower East Side intersection after the water main ruptured around 7 a.m.

DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said crews had to shut down water to businesses and buildings in the area and officials say repairing the break will likely take all day.

“These mains are cast iron. They’re brittle, and they can break from time to time,” he said.

The break prompted closures from Elizabeth and Chrystie and Spring to Broome Streets. Strickland said there are two water mains in the same general area and crews had to figure out where the break was located.

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The break has caused some minor flooding in some basements of the buildings at the intersection.

Officials are telling people who do have brown or murky water to let their taps run for a while until it clears. For those who do have water, officials say it is safe to drink.

WATCH: CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reports

“I had to shut down the boiler because it’s getting to the point where it’s running over the street and going over the steps,” said Joe Norat.

It may be necessary to repave the street, depending on whether the flooding compromises the integrity of the road.

The main that broke is 106-years-old.

“These mains are cast iron. They’re brittle, and the can break from time to time,” said Strickland.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports

Despite the volume of water that flowed into the streets, very little is leaking into area basements. The J and Z subway trains that run under the waterlogged neighborhood were not impacted by the mess.

Traffic was disrupted however. Norat said it took him about an hour and a half to travel two blocks.

Should more be done to upgrade the infrastructure in New York? Would you be prepared to pay more in taxes for the upgrades?