Water Main Break Floods Broadway in Morningside Heights: FDNY

The Patch - February 08, 2020

by Anna Quinn, Patch Staff

A water main break near West 111th Street during Friday morning rush hour is the third water main bust on the west side this year.

Water began pouring into the streets around 8:30 a.m. after the water main erupted near 2871 Broadway, between West 11th and 112th streets, according to the FDNY and commuters.

The water had reached as far as the 110th Street-Cathedral Parkway Station, where the flood was so high commuters were wading through pools of water to get in.

"The only way to get to my subway stop was to run through three feet of water," Ben Vanden Heuvel told Patch. "I hesitated a little but then I dove in."

The city's Emergency Management team warned that the flooding and emergency personnel would cause traffic delays in the area.

The break led officials to shut off water for about an hour as they repaired the leak, a spokesperson with the Department of Environmental Protection said.

The leak was repaired and water restored by 11:15 a.m., the spokesperson said, meaning the water would soon drain from the roads. Now that the leak is repaired, the crews will start excavation and repair work on the water main, he added.

The break is the third water main bust to hit Manhattan's west side so far this year.

Three water mains that erupted in January — two on the Upper West Side — had elected officials and the MTA calling for more investment in upgrading the city's aging infrastructure. The Department of Environmental Protection said in January that it would take several weeks to determine the cause of those breaks.

The most recent of those busts ruptured on Central Park West near 103rd Street and shut down the city's A, C and D trains for hours as transit officials scooped water out of the subway system.

It came nearly a week after another water main break on the Upper West Side shut down a dozen blocks near Lincoln Center and left the MTA sucking 500,000 gallons of water out of the 1, 2 and 3 line for 12 hours.

The third water main break on Manhattan's west side that week broke near Union Square on Thursday and left 125 residents and businesses without water for several hours. It was repaired before any flooding.