NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A leaky pipe beneath a Manhattan street encased a parked car in ice and caused the pavement to sink in over the weekend.

PHOTOS: Car Encased In Ice

 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg with a man who says he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw his car covered in ice.

CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown asked Joe Marucci of the East Village how he would describe the sight. His answer: “I just said that’s what sank the Titanic.”

Chester Johnson of Bed-Stuy’s answer was more laconic: “This right here is ridiculous.”

Officer drives over the growing sink hole on East 2nd Street (Photo/Steve Sandberg)

East Second Street between First and Second Avenues is like a glacier as layers of thick cascading ice cover the block. Beneath the frozen tundra sits an Audi A3 completely encased in six inches of ice. “I’ve never seen anything like that, it’s like an ice sculpture,” a woman said.

Some just couldn’t believe their eyes. “It really does look bizarre. I thought it was fake,” said Lorraine DAgastino who works in the East Village.

Pete, the owner of the car, is taking the situation in stride. “It could be worse like if that was me or a family member covered in ice that wouldn’t be good; so it’s all relative.”

Pete said he parked his car on the street on Friday night and sometime over the weekend the DEP said a leaky pipe caused a sinkhole in the pavement forcing water to bubble up and freeze over.

It takes a lot to stop New Yorkers in their tracks, but person after person, even Con Ed workers, paused in the bitter cold to take pictures. Around mid-morning Monday, the DEP turned off all water service to the immediate area and ripped up the street to repair the broken pipe.

After trying to crack the ice off with a hammer and screw driver Pete found it was no match for the layer of ice which is as hard and thick as concrete. Using a backhoe, the DEP was able to break up the ice around the car but the tires remained frozen to the pavement.

Pete was finally able to get into the car to run the engine and warm it up but the heat inside the vehicle combined with the ice outside caused the rear window to shatter.

“Definitely looks like it was encased in some kind of ice cave for hundreds of thousands of years,” said Melissa Schubnell of the East Village.

Extra: Tips On Staying Safe And Warm In The Bitter Cold

Comments (43)
  1. Algee Sas says:


  2. Chi says:

    Wow – yeah it’s been crazy here in ny! God bless him – hope he doesn’t
    get a ticket!


  3. wildcatford says:

    That would suck. Wonder how long the thaw will take

  4. mrsand241 says:

    It,s been a rough winter

  5. Tammy says:

    oh give the guy a break maybe it’s his first winter in NY

  6. ALBERT SISON says:


  7. bb says:

    Why don’t you use hot water?

  8. jillfeyka says:

    …and this is why I moved to Florida. That is pretty harsh.

  9. Anj says:

    yes, our NYC rocks! go check out the HIGHLINE on your next trip, is a cool spot on the lower west side. google it….. must check out the Chelsea Market very close by too, a good place to see.

    1. Mike says:

      NYC Sucks! 80F Sunny skies in Los Angeles

  10. js says:

    I think insurance will cover loss. If was okay over weekend with city it being there, I sure they will give him a break for it still being “stuck.” After all, how can he move it while frozen in place, really. I just hope the car and sink hole issue doesn’t worsen, that will be a more damaging mess.

  11. Dan says:

    Good luck suing the city. They have the laws in their favor and the judges in their pocket even when the law is not stacked against you.

  12. DB says:


    1. Dean- lower east side says:

      what’s the matter DB, can’t use your baday? Pardon the spelling.

  13. jill thompson says:

    Hey Im from New Zealand and my daughter has just sent me this site to look at,we would never issue a ticket to him in New Zealand, oh no, we would probabaly charge him towing fees to take it away!!!!! I love New York, was there last Xmas and am going again in June,

    1. Anj says:

      yes, our NYC rocks! go check out the HIGHLINE on your next trip, is a cool spot on the lower west side. google it….. must check out the Chelsea Market very close by too, a good place to see.

  14. LJ says:

    Pete needs to look up “co-efficient of expansion” in the encyclopedia. If he had done nothing the car would have thawed slowly in tomorrow’s warmth with no breakage. The city is not responsible for Pete’s stupidity.

  15. CantGet aName says:

    Maybe I’m stupid… but I don’t understand why people that live in NYC even own a car. Parking is a hassle, traffic is terrible and snow causes more of a hassle. I don’t live in the City but when I visit I take the train and utilize the subways. I just don’t get it.

    1. Mike says:

      yeah… you are

  16. Steve M. says:

    God luck suing the city….This car will be years in the junk yard before he ever sees a dollar from that lawsuit…

  17. victoria says:

    Hey that’s a new Audi! Sue the city! Its on record. Or make it easy call the insurance company and let them do it for free after they fix the car. Its called comprehensive insurance.

  18. steve 102 says:

    ice ice baby

  19. Mayor JewBerg says:


  20. Frozen M says:

    I wonder if Al Gore has seen this

    1. Ignorance Is Not a Bliss says:

      you apparently have no idea what global warming is or of its effects. Do some research before making ignorant comments like this.

      1. Ignorance is A bliss uh duh! says:

        Whats global warming and what are its effects?

    2. carolane says:

      Where’s global warming when you need it?

  21. The Good Samaritan says:

    The city is at fault here and must reimburse the guy for his broken window

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

  22. Julie says:

    This is a no questions asked situation. The city is certainly responsible for any damaged sustained to the vehicle due to the water main break. Unfortunately, the city does not forecast the breaks of each water main…you know, being proactive. Instead the city is reactive to water mains therefore it cost much more for repairs. I often wonder how much money the city could save if they were proactive? Spending the money now to repair something that is due to break could save money and headaches to anyone else as well. Ah, but that is too easy, why not waste taxpayer money instead and send the city and state’s budget down the drain??

  23. Dude Here says:

    wow glad I live in Florida it’s 75 degrees right now and I just came back from a bike ride down near the beach,felt like 70 at beach with breeze.

    1. NY Chris says:

      Let me know how those hurricanes feel like in the next 5 months or how it is so unbearably humid you can’t go outside

  24. JNB says:

    How can they ticket the car? They can’t leave the ticket under the wipers 🙂

  25. LAP says:

    i still can’t believe this picture. if was my car I would make the city responsible to pay for it as they should of turn the water off sooner as soon as noticed. even if nobody reported it to now. You can still see how it was their for a while as to get that much water frozen that took about a day at least to get that bad. I feel so bad for that guy.

  26. Stacey Plescia Delise says:

    The leaky pipe was under the pavement.. therefore belonging to the city. He didn’t abandon his car for a long period of time. If they ticket him, I am sure he could not only get it dismissed but he could put up a fight for them to cover at least the tires and rear window.

  27. Steve says:

    Please tell me that they’re not going to ticket this poor guy?

  28. mc says:

    he will have to wait until the weather is warmer.

  29. Schmellma Ardss says:

    So throw some tequila, triple sec, and lime juice on it. The rock salt will do the rest.

  30. jennifer says:

    All he has to do is bring his tickets to the bureau and explain with proof such as this article, his registration, and some pictures to get them dismissed. Its annoying, but it can be done.

  31. Ice Man says:

    I wonder if they will ticket him for not moving his car for alternate street cleaning rules?

    1. bitty says:

      It’s NY ,yes

    2. III says:

      it was parked their on the weekend not during the week they don’t clean the streets usually on the weekend.

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