Water main breaks on 103rd Street

Update 12:15 p.m.: DEP spokesperson Chris Gilbride said around 125 customers were affected by the water shutdown. After working through the night, crews found the break around 6:30 a.m.

Water and power has since been restored to the block.

Gilbride said that water main breaks usually occur because of three factors: the age of the pipes, the temperature, and pressure changes. The pipe that broke last night was installed in 1966.

"The last four weeks, it's warmed up, now we're in a deep freeze again," he said, adding that such temperature fluctuations cause the metal pipes to expand and contract.

Update 1:15 a.m.: District 6 councilmember Helen Rosenthal tweeted that power is back on for the residents of 308 W. 103rd Street:

12:23 a.m.: A water main broke on 103rd Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive earlier tonight, spewing water onto the frozen streets and cutting off power and water to nearby buildings.

An FDNY spokesperson said they were on the scene at 10:03 p.m. and left "immedietely" after turning off the water.

City Department of Environmental Protection crews are currently on scene working to repair a massive gash in the asphalt caused by the break. Rocks thrown by the explosion went as far as the sidewalk.

As of 11:30 p.m., power was visibly turned off on 308 W. 103rd Street. But at 11:52 p.m., District 7 Council member Mark Levine tweeted:

Twitter user Claire Bertin-Lang tweeted:

Local resident Sean Geoghan tweeted this photo of the water flow:

We've reached out to the Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Emergency Management for more details. In the meantime, news editor Samantha Cooney and deputy Elizabeth Sedran bring us more photos:

photo 4 Elizabeth Sedran for Spectator


Emergency vehicles on the scene Elizabeth Sedran for Spectator


Gash Elizabeth Sedran for Spectator


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Joe posted on

I live at 100th and RSD. For the past hour, water here is cloudy and off color, and has a funny taste and smell.

I assume it's due to this break.

Does anyone know when it will clear up?

Joe posted on

Answering my own question...

I went out to buy bottled water (dehydration is always serious problem), and I went by the site. Two DEP guys there said the off-color water was most likely the result of them shutting off valves earlier, not directly from the broken pipe. They estimate it may clear up overnight.

Willard Knox posted on

Thank you for your reporting on this! You are providing a valuable community service.