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Massive Sinkhole Opens on LES Street After Water Main Break

By Allegra Hobbs | May 3, 2017 1:33pm | Updated on May 4, 2017 8:42am
 DEP workers carried out repairs on a 12-inch water main that broke Wednesday morning.
DEP workers carried out repairs on a 12-inch water main that broke Wednesday morning.
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DNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs

LOWER EAST SIDE — A giant sinkhole opened up on Madison Street near Rutgers Street on Wednesday morning following a 12-inch water main break, leaving 150 residents and 10 businesses temporarily without water while the problem was evaluated, according to the city's Department of Environmental Protection.

The leak occurred around 8 a.m. and was fixed by the evening, according to a DEP spokesman. The hole is expected to be patched up Thursday morning.

The cause of the break is still under investigation, said a DEP spokesman, and the damaged portion of the pipe will be taken to a facility for analysis.

A resident who drove by the intersection while taking her daughter to school around 8:50 a.m. told DNAinfo New York that she saw water gushing from the street, then saw the sinkhole it had left roughly 40 minutes later.

"I saw the water gushing out of the street," said Tanya Castro Negron, who lives in the nearby Lands End II housing complex on Cherry Street. "Then when I came back from dropping [my daughter] off, the water was dried up ... it was a huge hole."

A DEP spokesman said 150 consumers and 10 businesses were without water early Wednesday afternoon. DEP workers carried out temporary repairs on the water main and the water was restored by around 2:30 p.m., the spokesman said.

Permanent repairs were completed as of Wednesday evening and crews are expected to restore the roadway Thursday morning, according to a DEP spokesman.

Madison Street between Rutgers and Jefferson streets remained largely closed to vehicular traffic as of Wednesday afternoon. The city's office of Emergency Management took to Twitter to tell commuters to expect delays. 

The M22 bus is being rerouted due to the break, according to the MTA.