MANHATTAN – An Upper East Side block was turned into a soggy disaster area after a water main break just after 7:30 this morning sent a torrent of water gushing from at least four holes in the pavement on Third Avenue between East 79th and East 80th Streets, where the water had burst through the asphalt.
Five FDNY units raced to the scene, meeting up with Department of Environmental Protection teams who are working to stop the flow of water— which firefighters at the scene could be heard saying made it inside several buildings, though the impact was minor.
On the street, the river of dirty water snaked its way through the outdoor dining setup for Luke’s Bar and Grill– the water pooling on the north end of the structure before winding through the open areas, then rushing once again until it reached the intersection of Third Avenue and East 79th Street.
The water main break and crush of emergency crews that followed threw a major wrench in the morning rush. Besides traffic being snarled on both Third avenue and East 79th Street, a travel artery in Lenox Hill, pedestrians just trying to get to work or grab a coffee found themselves high jumping over rivers of dirty, brown water.
As of 1:00 pm, the DEP tells Upper East Site the water has been successfully turned off and teams are coordinating with Con Edison– who operate steam and gas lines– in order to make repairs to the broken water main.
DEP says it anticipates completing repairs tonight and plans to reopen Third Avenue by Friday morning.
This is a developing story, stay with Upper East Side for updates throughout the day.