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Bronx Businesses Feeling The Heavy Cost Of Wednesday's Water Main Break

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Con Ed says it will take days to restore gas service to hundreds of homes and businesses, after Wednesday's water main break in the Bronx.

Photos: Bronx Water Main Break

The early-morning rupture of the 108-year-old, 36-inch water main sent thousands of gallons of water across and over Jerome Avenue for three hours. A huge hole in the pavement marks the site of the break.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane On The Scene


Tony Greno, owner of Tony's Pizza on Jerome Avenue, has had his shop for 30 years.  He recently got an "A" health grading, but now the Health Department has shut him down.

"I'm 75 years old. I'm working hard, pay taxes and nothing," a somber Greno told CBS 2's Kristin Thorne.

Greno has had to throw away thousands of dollars of food because the Health Department told him it could have been contaminated in the water.  His biggest headache now is his basement.  Not only is it filled with water, but the ceiling and walls are falling down.

"How I fix the basement, you need a lot of money. You see one hole -- violation. You see hole - violation  $200, $300, $500," he said.

Other business owners are also facing another day of cleanup. The owner of the Halal Market estimates his losses at $400,000.

1010 WINS' Stan Brooks reports: A Flood Of Problems


Wilfredo Estevez says he's been warning the Department of Environmental Protection about flooding problems near the site of the break.

"We've been calling DEP on a regular," Estevez said. "We were telling them and telling them and they waited for this to happen now to address the problem."

JD Custom Carpentry was also hit hard.  Currently, they're working with limited equipment upstairs because of the raging water that took over their production room Wednesday.

City officials are asking Comptroller John C. Liu to bring in advisors who can talk to local business owners about how to file insurance claims.

"That's down the road, but it's a good service to bring in early so people can start quelling some of their fears and concerns," said Joseph Bruno, Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management.

It could take investigators several weeks to figure out what led to a massive water main break.

Is enough being done to update infrastructure in New York City? Are you surprised by the break? Sound off in our comments section... .

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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