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Sinkhole Swallows SUV After Water Main Break on the Upper West Side

By  Dusica Malesevic and Aidan Gardiner | August 30, 2016 8:05am | Updated on August 30, 2016 4:33pm

 An SUV fell into a sinkhole after a water main break on the Upper West Side Monday night.
An SUV fell into a sinkhole after a water main break on the Upper West Side Monday night.
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DNAinfo/Dusica Sue Malesevic

UPPER WEST SIDE — Upper West Siders woke up without enough water to shower Tuesday morning after a pipe burst the night before, flooded the street and created a sinkhole that swallowed up a BMW SUV, they said.

The water started flowing from the broken pipe about 9:18 p.m. Monday outside 167 W. 89th St., near Amsterdam Avenue, an FDNY spokesman said Tuesday morning.

The leaking waters eventually created a sinkhole that swallowed up a white BMW SUV as its lights were flashing, witnesses said.

"Water was gushing up like crazy and then all of sudden the car started tilting. Then it went down," said neighbor David Alameda, 64.

The FDNY spokesman characterized it as a "large water main break" but didn't know precisely how many gallons had spilled out.

Brown dirty water also started coming out of neighbors' taps, they reported.

"It is a little nerve-racking. It feels like our water isn't safe anymore," said Katherine Agramonte, who lives nearby.

"We drink this water. We bathe in this water. Out of nowhere, it just happened. It's crazy," Agramonte added.

The next morning, as crews continued to repair the damage from the break, neighbors reported not having any running water and resorted to filling buckets from nearby fire hydrants.

"We're in shock right now," said Vonray White, one of the residents without water.

Department of Environmental Protection crews started repairs Monday night, according to  Communications Director Ted Timbers.

There were 250 customers in the area without water as of 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, Timbers said. 

Crews pulled the SUV from the hole about 8:45 a.m. and traffic, which had been blocked along Amsterdam Avenue for several blocks, began flowing again about an hour later.

Workers Working

(DNAinfo/Dusica Sue Malesevic)

Crews were still working at the scene Tuesday morning.

It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the water main break. Neighbors said there had been street construction going on in the area recently.

There were no reported injuries in the incident, an FDNY spokesman said.

M7 and M11 buses were rerouted because of the break as well, the MTA said.

— Kathleen Culliton contributed to this article