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Upper West Side water main break floods streets, snarls morning commute

Posted: 6:00 AM, Jan 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-13 22:32:15-05

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — A massive water main break on Manhattan's Upper West Side flooded multiple streets and crippled subway service across the borough's west side early Monday morning.

The FDNY said the call came in just before 5 a.m. for a water main break at the corner of Broadway and West 62nd Street.

Crews worked for hours Monday morning to contain the flowing water, drain the flooded streets near Lincoln Center and cap the break.

Just before 8 a.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Twitter thread of updates that water had been shut off to the ruptured main, to stop more water from flooding the already submerged streets.

The mayor also said Con Edison had switched off steam service to some nearby buildings as a precaution as the Department of Environmental Protection worked to investigate which customers were affected.

AIR11 was live over the scene as the streets flooded:

"Because of the shutdown needed to stop the flooding, @NYCWater customers on the west side of Broadway between 60th and 63rd Street are without service," de Blasio wrote.

Broadway was closed in both directions between 61st Street and 72nd Street, NYC Emergency Management tweeted around 8:30 a.m.

The mayor added that there was no eastbound traffic allowed on 61st Street, between Columbus Avenue, and no westbound traffic on 62nd and 63rd streets starting at Central Park West.

Service on the 1, 2 and 3 lines resumed at around 4 p.m. Monday after service had shut down.

According to the MTA, the Metro-North Railroad was allowing MetroCard holders to board at Marble Hill and Grand Central Terminal on the Hudson Line at no additional cost, as a way to get around Midtown Manhattan without relying on affected subway lines.

Some Manhattan subway stations experienced heavy crowding on the platforms amid the extensive delays.

Crowded subway stations after Upper West Side water main break
Commuters experienced crowded subway platforms in Manhattan due to extensive delays across the No. 1, 2 and 3 lines after a massive water main break on the Upper West Side early Monday morning, Jan. 13, 2020.

On Monday night, police tweeted "the EARLY outlook is that southbound B’way will be closed to vehicle traffic between 60th & 65th streets for 3 to 5 days."