NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A water main break made a mess in Washington Heights on Wednesday.
Just before 6 a.m., a water service line that feeds the River Arts Apartments at Riverside Drive and 160th Street ruptured and sent hundreds of gallons of water rushing into the lower levels of the building, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported.
Water poured into the garage, rushed through a window and seeped through a brick wall, Finch reported.
“We have a river running through our basement,” said manager Jack Fogle. “Fortunately, my basement drain is working, so it is capturing the water into the sewer system so it’s not filling the basement.”
The courtyard suddenly had a waterfall, and the street behind the building was cracked and sinking. The sidewalk separated from the curb where it was being undermined by rushing water, Finch reported.
The water main doesn’t belong to the city. It’s a private line that serves the 250-unit building. Managers were forced to shut off all water to residents indefinitely, Finch reported.
“I fed my cat and I turned on the water to fill his bowl and nothing,” resident Ann Megyas said.
“This morning I called my doorman to see if I had missed something about the water being shut off and he said there was a water main break and to bring back a lot of water and to treat it like we’re in a third world country because we’re probably not going to have water for a while,” resident Jenny Franchuk added.
In addition to the inconvenience, residents said they were worried about how much damage had already been done, Finch reported.
“Our concern is that it’s undermining the foundation and the sidewalk,” Fogle said. “What you don’t see is all of the dirt under the sidewalk is literally being washed away so the sidewalk is a bridge over a big cavern.”
The city’s Department of Environmental Protection shut the water off at the valve and was repairing the street. It’s up to the building’s owners to repair the water service line so residents here can have water service restored, Finch reported.