Curses! Yet another water main break strikes disaster-prone East Village street

A woman cautiously wades through the flood.
Photo by Dean Moses

East Village residents experienced deja vu all over again Wednesday night with the second water main break along East 7th Street this month.

The street near 1st Avenue filled with restaurants and outside dining areas was completely flooded as a result of the break, which occurred at around 8 p.m. on Dec. 30.

Some sections of the water reached up to knee high as pedestrians wadded through the deluge in search of dry ground. Business owners could be seen furiously batting at the water with brooms as it encroached on their property while others wrapped plastic bags around their feet in order to keep away the moisture.

One eatery worker even pleaded with amNewYork Metro, asking: “Who do I call for help?”

A local business fights against the flood. Photo by Dean Moses
Nearby store workers wrap up. Photo by Dean Moses

NYPD officers parked their vehicle on Avenue A side of East 7th Street but those in the area were largely left to fend for themselves while the Fire Department inspected the vicinity for the cause of the flood and electrical dangers.        

“I saw people running for their lives. I thought someone had been shot, then I saw this tidal wave of water come running after them,” said one 7th Street resident as he took refuge on a nearby stoop.

The gushing water was freezing to the touch, causing those brave enough to dip their feet in the torrent to immediately jump in shock, clinging to nearby poles and railings.

Outside dining were also completely inundated with brown water, sending debris such as pizza boxes and store signs floating into the distance. A recycling receptacle even washed into the front of a car, preventing the driver from pulling away. 

A car is blocked in by debris. Photo by Dean Moses
Firefighters inspect the scene. Photo by Dean Moses

This incident comes hot on the heels of a laundry list of calamities that has hit—what many locals have dubbed a “cursed street” — including a similar water main break on Dec. 21 and the devastating six-alarm inferno on Dec. 5 that destroyed the historic home of Middle Collegiate Church.

No injuries have been reported in Wednesday night’s pipe break, and the investigation is still ongoing.  

A ruined pizza box floats close to a NYPD cruiserPhoto by Dean Moses
The street became a river.Photo by Dean Moses
The FDNY continue to scope out the area. Photo by Dean Moses