2010-08-20 / Front Page

Water Main Break Leads To Surfside Outages

By Howard Schwach
The problems caused by a water main break at the intersection of Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Friday night were exacerbated by the fact that both electrical service and sewers had to be removed before the spewing main could be addressed, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) officials say.

A portable generator stands in the rear of One Beach 105 Street to provide power to the building. A portable generator stands in the rear of One Beach 105 Street to provide power to the building. By the time the electrical service was shut down late Friday night and the water main problem addressed, hundreds of residents at the Dayton Surfside Houses were without either electricity or water pressure and, in some cases, both.

“You’ve got to do something for us,” an unidentified resident of 106-20 Shore Front Parkway, one of the three buildings in the Surfside complex, begged The Wave on Monday afternoon. “We have no water, no electricity, and the management office won’t tell us what happened or when the utilities will be back.”

Workers at the intersection of Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard attempt to repair a ruptured water main. Workers at the intersection of Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard attempt to repair a ruptured water main. On Wednesday afternoon another resident said that her electricity had gone out again because the emergency generator could not keep up with the load.

In addition, she said, the fumes from the truck housing the emergency generator were so thick that they invaded apartments, forcing the residents to leave for a time.

“Alma Realty provided us with no information,” she said. “On Monday, when they turned off the electricity, we were never notified, and several people had to be evacuated from the elevators by the fire department.”

Fire department sources told The Wave that the DEP had cut the electrical power while trying to fix the water main break.

DEP officials handed out bottles of water to apartment residents who were without water pressure from Friday night until midweek. In addition, the DEP set up this washing station on Shore Front Parkway. DEP officials handed out bottles of water to apartment residents who were without water pressure from Friday night until midweek. In addition, the DEP set up this washing station on Shore Front Parkway. A spokesperson for the DEP, however, says that the city agency called the Long Island Power Authority for assistance when it realized that it could not do its job without removing the power grid that shared space with the main below the street.

“LIPA had to move the electrical service before we could get anything done,” the DEP spokesperson said. “[LIPA] moved in temporary generators to pick up the slack but, in some cases, they were not powerful enough and the residents remained without power.”

The DEP spokesperson added that water pressure to most of the apartments was restored on Sunday night, but that they could not get enough pressure to 106-20 Shore Front Parkway.

The other two buildings in the complex, O ne Beach 105 Street and 107-10 Shore Front Parkway, had water service, but only mixed electrical power until mid-week, sources say.

DEP provided bottled water and portable service sinks to any resident who needed them, the spokesperson said.

“We have been doing everything possible to restore water to the complex, and I know that LIPA is doing everything it can do as well,” the spokesperson added.

Repeated calls to LIPA for comment on this story went unreturned.

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