Volume 77 / Number 52 - May 28 - June 3, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Villager photo by R Ümar Abbasi

Office of Emergency Management workers and firefighters responded to bring the flood from the water-main break under control on Saturday night.

W. 10th St. turns water world after old main fails

By Albert Amateau

It was “Saturday Night Dive” for Village residents and patrons in restaurants and bars when a 164-year-old water main ruptured on W. 10th St. between Bleecker and W. Fourth Sts. on May 24.

The break at 11 p.m. Saturday flooded the street and the basements of several buildings and brought Office of Emergency Management personnel, along with firefighters, police and crews from the Departments of Environmental Protection, Buildings, Transportation and Buildings, plus Con Edison, to the scene.

Firefighters ordered 11 buildings between Bleecker St. and Seventh Ave. evacuated, displacing about 120 people, including children who had to spend the night with friends and in emergency quarters arranged by the Red Cross.

Residents were allowed back in their homes on Sun., May 25, but there was no water service on W. 10th St. between Seventh Ave. and Hudson St. until about 9 p.m., according to Michael Saucier, a D.E.P. spokesperson.

The water main that failed dated from 1844, and years of heaving ground from repeated freezes and thaws and pounding traffic were the break’s presumed causes, Saucier said. However, D.E.P. is analyzing the broken pipe to pinpoint the cause, he added.

Crews replaced a 12-foot section of the pipe on Sunday, and by nightfall the street was open to traffic. Restaurants were allowed to reopen after water service was restored on Sunday night.

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