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Crews Continue To Make Repairs After Water Main Break Near Katz’s Delicatessen On Lower East Side

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Crews are continuing to make repairs a day after a water main break flooded East Houston Street and caused a sinkhole in front the iconic Katz’s Delicatessen.

The break occurred shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday, sending water pouring into businesses on the street.

“There was a little trickle, and about four seconds later, that trickle just burst through the wall,” Jake Dell, owner of Katz’s Deli, said.

Katz’s basement was inundated by five feet of water, but the deli stayed open during the chaotic clean-up scene, as did a pizza shop, art gallery and lobster house that were also affected.

Workers at Katz’s dragged out load after load of muddy, ruined food, supplies and equipment. Dell estimates he lost $100,000 worth of supplies.

“Everything you need to run a restaurant is gone,” he said, but fortunately, the deli stores its pastrami aboveground.

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An approximately 20-foot-by-20-foot sinkhole also opened up as a result of the water main break, taking out the eastbound lanes of East Houston near First Avenue and Allen Street.

“For me the sinkhole was the scariest part, to see the earth disappear like that,” Dell said.

Crews are making steady progress fixing the street and expect to reopen it by Friday afternoon.

The 20-inch main was installed in 1959, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection said.

Broken pieces of the cast iron pipe were hauled up and replaced Friday morning, CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.

The cause of the break remains under investigation.

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