NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A crater in the street at Broadway and 74th in Jackson Heights marks the spot of where a water main burst Friday morning.
Workers dug down in hopes of making repairs and restoring water service to local residents and businesses, but many are still without water.
The water main break flooded the busy intersection and sent water pouring into basements and the subway.
Water was seen gushing out so fast and so forcefully at Broadway and 74th Street that it almost looked like a lake, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
Workers at nearby businesses rushed out just before 5:30 a.m. trying to keep things under control as best as they could.
“The entire pipe was just broken and water started spewing all over,” said Chung Ki-Wa restaurant worker Joseph Choi. “For about an hour and a half, we were desperately trying to clean everything up.”
Choi added that in the basement, “it was at least up to our waist. Enough to swim.”
The freezer of the restaurant is no longer working, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported. The ice has started to melt and the problem now is that the food is going to spoil.
The water also forced its way into several other businesses, including Pronto Food Market. The basement was badly flooded and workers say it could cost them at least $50,000 in damages.
“I’ve never seen like this before,” said manager Jignesh Patel. “It’s tough, you know, it’s tough. It’s hard as it is now we have to go through this.”
The cleanup continues while the Department of Environmental Protection investigates. The city agency says the 12-inch pipe burst apparently because of recent change in temperature.
Workers have shut down the water supply for 50 families and five businesses as they dig up the pavement to fix it all up, hoping to do so by Friday night.
The water main break also caused subway issues for a time on the E, F, M and R lines.