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Water main break floods Brooklyn buildings and excavation site

A 24 inch water main broke early this morning on North 6th Street and Driggs Avenue, flooding basements and a construction site, while causing the street near the L train construction to crack and undermine. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

A massive Brooklyn water main break flooded basements and a construction site — and briefly shut down the L train lines before the morning rush.

Department of Environmental Protection officials on scene blamed heavy machinery and trucks for the rupture of the main, saying that their weight contributed to pressure on what they say is a broken 24 inch main.

Transit service resumed after about an hour, according to the MTA, with only minor track flooding needing removal.

Several basements were flooded at the corner of North 6th and Driggs, including one five-story multi-unit dwelling that suffered heavy damage to the utility room and laundry room. Workers were on scene pumping out water from the basement and crews removed much of the storage from the room.

Workers pump out a basement on Driggs Avenue. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Workers pump water from basements on Driggs Avenue. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

At 522 North 6th, all utilities have been off since this morning, residents said.

Several other basements were flooded along Driggs, including the Bakeshop and a grocery on the corner of that street where the break occurred.

Down the street on North 7th, water ran down hill into a construction site run by Ray Builders and owned by Driggs LLC, where they are developing a 5-story mixed use building at the address 510 Driggs Avenue. Two front loading digging machines were submerge up to their cabs as workers attempted to pump water from the site. It was unclear if the machinery was damaged.

DEP workers were tearing up the street at Driggs and North 6th, searching for the broken main about four feet under the pavement. Huge cracks ran along the intersection as a result of the water main pressure. Workers were forced to move bike racks to have room to dig up the main, one with two bikes still hanging on them.

Workers dig up a 24 inch water main that broke early this morning on North 6th Street and Driggs Avenue, flooding basements and a construction site, while causing the street near the L train construction to crack and undermine. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Crews remove a bike rack with bikes still on it. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

The neighborhood has been under siege from the massive L train construction project, taking many streets along the line of North 6th Street.

Janet Kruset said she hadn’t checked her basement on Driggs, but she said her neighbor closer to the site was dry because of the uphill travel for the water. She said the neighborhood was chaotic enough with the L train construction.

“I haven’t checked my basement, but my neighborhood said she was okay,” Kruset said. “As for the construction, I can’t wait for them to finish. The noise alone makes you crazy.”

DEP officials say they expect to correct the problem by later today. However, one official said, “with all the heavy vehicles, we will probably have more of this.”

Water main breaks on the Upper West Sde near Central Park last month were blamed on heavy truck traffic.

Subway service was restored in time for the morning rush. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Construction continues on the L line on Driggs Avenue, here, they are working on the station stairs. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

 

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