NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A sinkhole opened up Monday after a water main break on the Upper West Side, not far from where thousands of people will gather this week for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, neighbors said they were thankful the sinkhole did not swallow anyone or anything.
The sinkhole at West 82nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue is about 20 feet long and eight feet wide.
It was a sight that passerby Robert Rodriguez had to take photos of.
“It’s just for my collection; you know, wild things in New York City,” Rodriguez said.
People on the street were shocked to see the pavement suddenly buckle.
“About 8:30, I heard people screaming outside, so I opened my shutters and there was the sinkhole,” said Les Hersh, who has lived on the block for 45 years.
Hersh said water leaked into a storage area of his building.
“My car was parked right next to it,” a passerby said. “I was glad it didn’t fall in.”
Fortunately, no one was hurt — and cars nearby were not damaged.
But water on the block was shut off, while crews pumped out the sinkhole.
“I hope everybody had a shower, because they’re going to have to shut everything down for the rest of the day,” said resident Michael McDonald.
Water was back in service for all customers by 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, residents including Michelle Rao were frustrated by yet another round of repairs on her street.
“This road is dug up so much,” Rao said. “I think that must have something to do with it.”
City crews spent hours investigating what went wrong underground.
“Sewers were checked with remote cameras,” said Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Ted Timbers. “Water mains were checked with a hands-on inspection.”
Officials said the problem was a defect in a pipe running from a private residential building at 56 W. 82nd St. Hersh lives in the building, and showed CBS2 the flooding in the building’s storage area that was caused by the water main break.
“It was the water leaking through the foundation wall from the sinkhole, Hersh said.
Residents say the street was re-paved about a year ago, and some pipes are new.
The city said it was not one of its own pipes that burst. But the city did fix the pipe, and then had to repave the road quickly.
“It was a very easy repair,” Timbers said. “Just going to have to back-fill it; put the concrete down and the asphalt.”
In the meantime, spectators snapped pics and everyone was hoping it wouldn’t happen again.
The block is where some of the balloons are inflated for the parade.