Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A massive water main break in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx is now under control as crews inspect the cause.

It happened just before 6 a.m. on Jerome Avenue near 177th Street.

At one point, water levels in some sections were waist deep as it flooded the avenue as far south as 174th Street.

The Department of Environmental Protection says it took crews about three hours to stop the flow.

The water main is said to be 103 years old, one of the oldest in the system, and is a feeder into other pipelines.

Local residents are not experiencing water problems, but the rushing water did damage some gas mains, leaving about 600 customers without gas.

"There are a number of factors that could potentially play into a break, pipes are under different pressures, happened to be a main that was taking a tremendous amount of pressure its entire life, so that's not an issue. But we are going to be looking into both at the site of the break, and the forensic evidence is going to tell us something when we're able to get in there," said DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway.

Firefighters remained on scene to make sure no one got stuck in their cars or surrounding buildings.

No major injuries have been reported, but local business owners are not sure what kind of damage the water will bring.

"I can't express what I feel, it's painful, it's painful," said one business owner.

"The whole day, I have to tell my employees to stay home, so I don't know what's going to happen now. We have insurance, but I don't know if they're going to pay for the water," said another.

Meantime, the water main break is causing problems for fans headed to this afternoon's Yankees game.

There is no 4 train service between the 167th Street Station and the Bedford Park Boulevard-Lehman College Station.

That means the train is not stopping at Yankee Stadium.

Fans can take the D or B train to the game.

Some bus routes in the area are also experiencing delays or detours.

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