- Workers near New York City’s 40th Street and Seventh Avenue responded to a broke water main at around 3 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2023.
- The 127-year-old water main gave way causing flooding on the streets of midtown as well as in the city’s busiest subway station.
- It took officials about an hour to find the source of the leak and turn the water off.
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 water main gave way under 40th Street and Seventh Avenue at 3 a.m., said 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 said.
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.
Aggarwala said it appeared that only two local businesses were without left without water at the start of the work day.