Broken Water Main Cripples Arverne
The 12-inch main, located between Beach 71 and 72 Streets on Rockaway Freeway, burst just before the evening commute, creating a wild fresh-water river, according to Department of Environmental Protection Spokesperson, Natalie Millner.
Thousands of gallons of water erupted onto the surrounding streets – forcing police to reroute traffic around the busy Beach 73 Street/Rockaway Freeway/ Beach Channel Drive junction. The area, already besieged by road construction, was quickly turned into a flooded mess.
“A” Train service to Far Rockaway was halted shortly after 5 p.m. at the request of the Fire Department, which feared the deep, running water could have undermined the footings of the el, according to MTA spokesperson Charles Seaton. Area bus stops were then flooded, too – with would be “A” Train passengers. Service was restored by 7:30 p.m. after the Fire Department determined that the structure, which is about 70 years old, had not been damaged, Seaton said.
Millner could not specify the cause of the break but ruled out construction work in the area. “It just broke,” she said adding that age or weather were possible culprits.
Millner also told The Wave that the water in a nearby 11-story apartment building had to be turned off from about 6:30 p.m. Monday until about 4 a.m. Tuesday, when DEP emergency workers finished repairing the break. She could not identify the building by address. Hammel Houses/Carleton Manor management was unaware of any interruption, and residents of 7800 Shore Front Parkway reported only discolored water from their taps.
A roadwork crew was directed to the area on Tuesday, and police reported no injuries.
By Brian Magoolaghan