WNYT.com

Rotterdam residents clean up after a water main break

Posted at: 03/31/2013 7:22 AM
Updated at: 03/31/2013 7:54 AM
By: Dan Levy

After a ruptured water main sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of water gushing into basements, backyards, and businesses, things are getting back to normal for most people in the town of Rotterdam.

Before the highway crew could even begin the repair on a 20-inch water main, first they had to turn off 45 valves to shut off the eruption of water that flooded a section of Curry Road Friday night and the surrounding neighborhood.

"It took longer to shut the water down then it's going to be to repair the pipe, but it's been a long, long night for my crew they've been working very hard," says Rotterdam Highway Superintendent Jim Longo.

He says the break affected everyone in town. The lucky ones only experienced low water pressure. A few homes needed their basements pumped out. One or two properties sustained foundation damage.

For Candice Rizzo, on Hollywood Avenue, who had no water for 18 hours, there were certain things she just couldn't do. "Trying to flush toilets, trying to take showers, trying to even keep your hands clean," she says.

Meanwhile, around the corner on Robinwood Avenue, the McTague's had more reason to worry.

"All the water just flooded into the backyard. It just kept coming and coming and gushing. We were just worried about the house flooding," says McTague.

Fortunately, the McTague's quick-thinking children built this impromptu retaining wall across the driveway, which turned out to be enough to keep flood waters out of their basement.

So on a scale of one-to-ten, ten being the greatest inconvenience, how do they think they made out?

"What do you think, about a six? Six. You have electricity. Thank God the water didn't get to our electricity or anything like that. We're one of the lucky ones, yeah, a lot worse things could have happened."

At the height of the emergency, 120,000 gallons of water were gushing from the severed pipe. This mud line on the bridge trestle that crosses Curry Road indicates the water here was more than five feet deep.

"Normally, you probably think of a break in sub zero weather but thank God it's a beautiful day today and it helps to make repairs when the weather is like this," Highway Superintendent Longo.

On an otherwise uneventful weekend, it'll be an Easter holiday that's hard to forget.