Volume 20, Number 44 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | MARCH 14 - 20, 2008

Water main break on Church

A water main break Tuesday morning at Church St. left four blocks without water until the next day, according to the city Department of Environmental Protection.

The water main at the intersection of Church and White Sts. broke around 7 a.m. Tuesday and surrounding businesses and residents had no water until 4 a.m. Wednesday, D.E.P. spokesperson Mercedes Padilla said.

Some businesses around Church and White Sts. had to close early Tuesday, and a few were still closed the next day.

“We tried to stay open just to make sandwiches,” said Wilson, an employee at the Neighborhood Café at 275 Church St., “but the police wouldn’t even let us deliver sandwiches.”

Wilson, who didn’t want to disclose his last name, said the Neighborhood Café lost about $1,000 in revenue due to the closure.

The water also filled six manholes, which left 70 people in the area without phone service, said Rich Young, spokesperson for Verizon. Four manholes were pumped dry and phone service was restored by Wednesday morning, Young said.

While the cause of the water main break is still under investigation, D.E.P. construction workers at the site expected to finish repair work by Sat., March 15.

The water break also forced Con Edison to shut down its adjacent steam main because the cold water could cause the hot cast-iron pipes to rupture, said Con Ed spokesman Michael Clendenin.

Clendenin added that the erosion of the mud also undermined the gas pipes, which have been there since the early 1900s. Con Edison has to replace the gas pipes along Church St. between White and Franklin Sts., “but customers will not be affected gas-wise,” Clendenin said.

— Sebastian Kahnert

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