A 127-year-old water main under New York’s Times Square gave way early Tuesday, flooding midtown streets and the city’s busiest subway station.
The 20-inch (half-meter) water main broke under 40th Street and Seventh Avenue at 3 a.m., says Rohit Aggarwala, commissioner of New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection.
The rushing water was only a few inches deep on the street, but videos posted on social media showed the flood cascading into the Times Square subway station down stairwells and through ventilation grates. The water turned the trenches that carry the subway tracks into mini rivers and soaked train platforms.
It took DEP crews about an hour to find the source of the leak and shut the water off, Aggarwala says.
The excavation left a big hole at the intersection of 40th Street and Seventh Avenue, where workers were digging with heavy equipment to get to the broken section of pipe.
While that intersection remained closed to car traffic, surrounding streets were open by rush hour. Subway service, however, was suspended through much of Manhattan on the 1, 2 and 3 lines, which run directly under the broken pipe.
#Breaking news: A water main break in Times Square has suspended 1 and 2 train from 14th to 96th and 3 train suspended in both directions between Manhattan and Brooklyn #nbc4ny pic.twitter.com/vAukdjTyOG
— Pei-Sze Cheng (@PeiSzeCheng4NY) August 29, 2023