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Block of Manhattan Valley Left Without Water After Street Leak

By Leslie Albrecht | January 26, 2011 2:23pm

By Leslie Albrecht

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — About 200 people were left without water Wednesday when a pipe beneath a Manhattan Valley street sprang a leak, the Department of Environmental Protection said.

The "street leak," which is less serious than a water main break, was reported about 9 a.m., said Mercedes Padilla, a DEP spokeswoman.

The leak affected buildings on Manhattan Avenue between West 107th and West 108th Street, and police closed off the block to traffic.

DEP posted notices on buildings' front doors warning residents their water would be shut off.

"We hope to find the source of the leak as soon as possible," Padilla said.

Padilla said she didn't know how long it would take crews to fix the leak, but she said DEP was hopeful the water would be back on before Wednesday evening.

"It's very inconvenient," said resident Rosa Portorreal. "You have to cook, there's water in the bathroom. I'm hoping it comes back today."

Simone Beal, a home health aide for a 77-year-old woman on the block, said she called 311 when she realized there was no water in her client's apartment. Beal bought two gallons of water for her client and expected to buy more later.

DEP crews were on scene mid-morning to investigate the source of the leak. A foot-long crack with a small amount of water slowly streaming out of it was visible on Manhattan Avenue near West 107th Street.

"Something changed because water was gushing down the street before and now it's not," said resident Marc Juliano, who said he saw a three or four foot wide heavy stream of water flowing down the west side of Manhattan Avenue about 8 a.m.