YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A major water main break in Yonkers continued to cause big problems on the roads in Westchester County into Monday night and its effects were expected to linger into Tuesday morning.
Flooding closed parts of the Saw Mill River and Cross County parkways earlier in the day and prompted a boil water advisory. As of Monday night, work crew had not been able to completely remedy the situation.
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The Saw Mill River is likely to remain closed southbound from Rumsey Road/McLean Avenue in Yonkers into the Tuesday morning commute. The westbound Cross County Parkway, closed from the New York State Thruway to the Saw Mill River, will also likely remain closed into Tuesday morning.
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Officials are asking commuters to avoid unnecessary travel to those roadways and consider using alternate routes, including the Bronx River Parkway, the Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said the break happened near Wendover Road around noon and is affecting tens of thousands of people.
A private contractor, who was working for the state, struck a 30-inch main. That main serves the entire city and brings water from a reservoir on the east side to the west side of Yonkers, the mayor said.
The mayor said while the main won’t be fixed in time for the morning rush, crews have made progress.
“We were able to stop the water, at least most of the water, and the city is now in the process of working with the fire department to re-route as much as they possibly can to get some water to area residents,” Mayor Spano said.
WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports
The break is affecting the entire southwest part of city. Sediment was preventing crews from completely closing valves and isolating the line.
Yonkers officials had hoped to have water service restored by 10 p.m. Monday, but were unsuccessful in doing so.
Spano activated the Officer of Emergency Management because of the danger posed to the public in the form of low, muddy or no water pressure at all.
“Most people [have] no water, discolored water or very low water pressure. We have crews at the scene, we’re attempting to isolate the portion of the main that is broke. Once we isolate that, we can potentially…divert water to the areas affected,” Spano told reporters, including CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
The Health Department has issued a boil water advisory, which officials said will remain in effect until further notice.
“Residents and businesses in the area south of Ashburton Avenue to the New York City line between the Hudson River and the Saw Mill River Parkway are strongly advised to boil their water before drinking it or using it to prepare food, as a precaution, due to a major water main break in Yonkers this afternoon,” the Health Department said in a statement.
The city plans to pass out bottled water at senior facilities and temporary distribution centers in the affected areas. Those locations will be published on Tuesday morning, officials said.
Anyone with questions can call the city’s help line at 914-377-4357.
St. John’s Hospital has low water, but was still operating. St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers is using its backup supply of water for drinking and bathing. No patients have been turned away or moved.
“We have plenty of drinking water, we have a 96-hour emergency plan that’s in place — water, food, fuel, things like that, that we’re backed up with,” said Dean Civitello, Vice President of Public Relations for St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
The hospital is getting help from the city to ensure basic water needs are met.
“We’re working with the fire department to get them basic water services to operate the building,” Yonkers Commissioner of Public Works Thomas Meier told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.