BROOKLYN WEEKLY, DECEMBER 1, 2019
SUNSET UNDER WATER
Brooklyn streets fl ood after water main break
A massive water main break opened up a 30 foot crater on Fifth Avenue, causing massive fl ood. Photos by Todd Maisel
BY TODD MAISEL
Water fl ooded the streets for hours in Sunset
Park on Sunday, when a water main break caused
a 30-foot wide crater to open, creating rivers running
throughout adjoining roadways.
The water main erupted shortly after 5:30 am
on Nov. 24 at the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue
and 44th Street in Sunset Park, shooting rocks,
sidewalk concrete and asphalt into the air and
sending trash cans rolling down the street. At
times, the water was shooting up to fi ve feet high.
Luis Ramos, a 16-year-old who lives near the
site, said the street shook before the water suddenly
spouted into the air, waking him and his
“I couldn’t believe what I saw when I came out
this morning and the water was shooting into
the air,” Ramos said. “I just was hoping nobody’s
home was getting fl ooded.”
Some vehicles were in two feet of water, forcing
NYPD tow trucks to come and remove them.
The fl ooding forced police to close parts of
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Avenues from 43rd
and 46th Streets, leading to traffi c congestion
throughout the community. Police offi cials were
concerned that a corner section of Sunset Park
Playground might be undermined and collapse,
so they kept people away as well.
Department of Environmental Protection offi -
cials were on the scene trying to shut down the
water at multiple valves, but one offi cial said they
had to close the valves slowly to avoid additional
main breaks resulting from a sudden change in
pressure. Some of the valves were located up to 10
“DEP crews are working at the scene to shut off
the water so repairs can be made,” a spokesman
for the agency said.
Also at the scene were National Grid and Con
Edison crews; both utilities were concerned that
their lines may be impacted by the water that
fl ooded the nearby streets throughout the morning.
The damage to the street was extensive, and police
offi cials cautioned drivers to stay away from
the area into well Monday’s morning rush hour.