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Water Main Break Floods Delancey Street at the Bowery

By DNAinfo Staff on February 14, 2012 7:24am  | Updated on February 14, 2012 12:48pm

Firefighters worked to get the flood under control at Delancey Street and the Bowery after a main broke on Feb. 14, 2012.
Firefighters worked to get the flood under control at Delancey Street and the Bowery after a main broke on Feb. 14, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

By Trevor Kapp and Wil Cruz

DNAinfo Staff

LOWER EAST SIDE — A water main broke early Tuesday at Delancey Street and the Bowery, flooding the intersection and snarling rush-hour traffic, officials said.

The main ruptured at 6:55 a.m. a few blocks away from the Williamsburg Bridge just as rush hour was building up.

"It was a lake," said Sarah Grey, who lives on the Lower East Side. "There was water 3 feet high, but [the FDNY] moved pretty fast."

Peter Koch, 36, said the flooding gave New York the look of another city.

"It's Venice, without the boats and beautiful girls," said Koch, who is visiting from Copenhagen.

The intersection at Delancey Street and the Bowery was shut down. The closed-off streets extended west of Chrystie Street and down the Bowery to Broome Street.

Carter Strickland, a commissioner with the Department for Environmental Protection, said the main was 106 years old.

''There's water in one or two businesses so far," he said.

The Bowery Rest Supply on the northeast corner of the intersection experienced some flooding. The store was closed on Tuesday morning.

Other businesses in the area appeared to escape without flood damage.

"It looks like it's fairly contained in terms of any collateral damage," Strickland added.

He said the water had reached its peak, and emergency workers were concentrating on the clean-up operation by 9 a.m.

''We'll patch it up and it'll be back to business as usual.''

By 12:30 p.m., the water had stopped gushing, a DEP spokesman said. Workers were excavating the broken pipe to replace it with a new one.

Two lanes — one at the Bowery and another on Delancey Street — remained closed while the work was being completed. Water service to four businesses was affected, the spokesman said.

Subway service at the Bowery Station was not affected, transit officials said.

Con Ed workers checked a gas main at the site, but a spokesman said the rupture had not affected it.

The cause of the break was not immediately clear.