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Water Leaking From Ceiling Makes Mess At Penn Station

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Commuters were met Wednesday with a new problem at Penn Station – water leaking down on them from the ceiling.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, the water was leaking through the day in the very area where commuters catch the Long Island Rail Road. And all this comes after the delays, track work, and derailments.

As of 9 p.m., crews had completely blocked off the area that flooded from tracks 17 through 19. They were working to clean and replace the ceiling grates, which had to be taken down to figure out what caused a pipe to leak.

Over by the LIRR side of the rail terminal near tracks 18 and 19 and the McDonald's, water was gushing down during the morning commute. Just around the corner, it was also leaking.

"Sure, why not? There's been no rain -- so I mean, of course it's flooding water," said Adam Grant of Plainview.

"I couldn't believe all the mold; the stink of the smell from everything that fell down," said Steve Agugliaro of Islip. "I see all the bins below catching everything, but I feel bad for the officers that are standing on post.

Earlier in the day, video of the water falling from the ceiling was posted on social media.

Water rained down from the ceiling into huge garbage bins. Some of the dumpsters were nearly spilling over, and commuters said it smelled awful.

"I just shake my head," said commuter Joan Smith. "What else can you do?"

"This is horrible. This is really, really bad," another man, Jorge, told 1010 WINS' Al Jones. "It's a shame that this is New York City and this is what we see in the middle of the day."

Another man said Penn Station "fell apart years ago."

Six hours later, at the height of the evening commute, drops of water continued to fill dumpsters near the LIRR tracks already brimming with dirty water. Staffers with bullhorns directed people to avoid certain areas.

Angry Commuters, some sprinting to find their trains, said they'd had enough.

"Well, mostly, you can't say on TV, but are you blanking kidding me?" Grant said. "I mean, this experience gets worse every day. Our rates go up. My train goes up. The trains get slower, and now there's apparently a natural disaster inside Penn Station. So it's great

"It's miserable," said Lois Richstein of Great Neck. "I mean, how many times can you tell your employer you're late because mass transit isn't running on time?"

Flooding was also reported inside a train this week. On Tuesday, Carl Schellenberger took a photo inside his NJ TRANSIT train, as one of only two bathrooms flooded into the aisle.

"I take look up over to the lower level of the rail car, and the water was a quarter inch deep and it took on a brown color," said Schellenberger, of Tinton Falls, New Jersey. "Nothing's being done to address any of the issues, and the last thing we need is any kind of issue where it can affect anyone's health."

Many people this month had been threatening to protest the ongoing issues at Penn Station with what they called a "No Pay May," but so far, it appears that they have not made good on their threat to boycott. So far, an NJ TRANSIT spokeswoman said no customers have tried to use their April monthly passes in May as a form of protest.

"They can try to do it but, they're not going to be able to do it," said Nancy MacDougall of Douglaston, Queens. "Because they're putting the conductor in the middle of it and it's not his fault either."

But Grant said someone is to blame for the seemingly never-ending issues, and he thinks they should pay.

"Something's not working right, so in every other business you get fired," he said. "That should be happening here and it isn't."

The property at 2 Penn Plaza is owned by the Vornado Realty Trust. A spokesman said the station had sustained a "pipe leak" and said the company was investigating, but did not elaborate on the cause or what pipe exactly it was.

Service was not affected.

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