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Large Water Main Break Soaks Streets In Boerum Hill

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A large water main break on Wednesday soaked streets in Brooklyn.

It happened at 10:19 a.m. at St. Marks Avenue and 4th Avenue in Boerum Hill.

Authorities said the sidewalk partially collapsed.

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Posted by CBS New York on Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Water was bursting out of the sidewalk like a geyser.

"It looks like something exploded," witness Amy Nuttall told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez.

A civil engineering crew from a company called Big Apple Group was drilling to test soil outside the building when their soil-boring rig busted a 72-inch water main.

A river of water flooded the street. The owner of 4th Avenue Cleaners heard the break from inside her shop.

"Then all of a sudden, after about one hour, two hours later, water coming up," she said.

Five buildings were evacuated, power was shut down and basements were flooded.

Razzaq Chaudhry was dumping out water from his basement, one bucket at time.

"I'm feeling really bad. I feel like crying. My basement, every place, have full water," Chaudhry said. "I have a lot of my materials are damaged."

Without power, Chaudhry's tenant, the 99C & Up store, was struggling to keep business going in the dark. Employee Ling Yang said there was concern the work would keep customers away for the rest of the day.

"I ask the firetruck. He say, 'I don't know how long,' so I'm just waiting," Yang said.

People who work and live on the street wondered how the crew could have made such a damaging mistake. Sanchez questioned them at the site.

"I'm not allowed to talk about what happened," one crew member said.

But Chaudhry and others, paying for the mishap, wanted answers.

"Thanks God we have insurance ... but we are very upset," he said.

The break is right outside a building that tenants said was just sold. In fact, they said the paperwork is supposed to be signed on Thursday. The city said the private contractor will have to foot the bill for the extensive damage.

The water was finally shut off more than seven hours later.

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