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Progress Being Made After Yonkers Water Main Break; Boil Water Advisory Remains In Effect

Officials To Take Water Samples And Test For Bacteria Before Lifting Advisory
(credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

(credit: Glenn Schuck/1010 WINS)

CBS New York (con't)

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YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –boil water advisory is still in effect for Yonkers, where a water main broke on Monday, and it will remain until at least Thursday, Westchester County officials announced.

The county issued a release Tuesday, saying that once repairs have been completed, “water will be flushed from the mains through some fire hydrants in the area.”

Officials said that once that is completed, the Department of Health and the Yonkers Water Bureau will take  samples from the affected areas and test them for bacteria.

The turn-around time for that testing is 24 hours and the county will lift the advisory once the results of the testing is satisfactory.

Crews worked overnight to isolate the part of a 30-inch water main that burst on the southbound side of Saw Mill River Parkway in Yonkers.  However, it’s not happening fast enough for more than 50,000 people without running water.

The break happened around noon Monday when a private contractor running fiber optic cable under ground hit the main. When it broke, thousands of people lost service.

Some water flows when you turn on the faucet in Yonkers, but pressure, along with consumer confidence, is low.

“When I turned on my shower, it was kinda muddy and I ran it and it didn’t go away. I’m not drinking it,” Gabrielle Vanderpuije told CBS 2’s Lou Young.

The repairs were slowed by a type of metallic arteriosclerosis that changed the shape of the inside of the pipe and made it impossible to shut down the water flow, meaning it continues to flow throughout the entire repair.

In addition, the jackhammer that broke the water main actually changed the pipe from a circle to an oval. Workers don’t have a part to fit it so they have to fabricate one from scratch, CBS 2’s Young reported. That part is said to be ready and work is progressing again.

The city restored service to St. Joseph’s Hospital on Monday night, but roughly 50,000 people are still being affected — some in upper floors may have very weak pressure.

Until repairs are completed, the rule throughout southwest Yonkers — at places like Byrne and Hanrahan on McLean Avenue– is boil it before you drink it.

“I’ll boil some water and I’ll cool it down and we’ll use it if someone wants a glass of water for the next couple of days,” said Dominic Cipollone.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams: 70,000 Still Need To Boil Their Water

In the meantime, the city is providing drinking water to senior and nursing homes.

Water distribution stations have also been set up at the following locations:

· Riverdale Avenue and Prospect Avenue

· Third Police Precinct (435 Riverdale Avenue)

· Broadway and McLean Avenue

· Oak Street Yonkers Fire Station (81 Oak Street)

· School 13 (195 McLean Avenue)

Fire Chief John Flynn said in addition to stationing water tankers around southwestern Yonkers, the department also has a fireboat on standby that can pump more than 2,000 gallons per minute from the river.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

The New York City Fire Department also has offered to deploy its fireboats to Yonkers if necessary.

EXTRAS: Traffic & Transit Updates

The break is still impacting traffic on the Saw Mill River Parkway southbound from Rumsey Road and the Cross County Parkway west of the New York State Thruway.

Officials had hoped to reopen at least one lane on the Saw Mill River Parkway southbound by 2 p.m. Tuesday but it continued to remain closed.

Anyone with questions can call the city’s help line at 914-377-4357 or visit the city’s website at www.yonkersny.gov