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Water Leak Forces Evacuations At Lower Manhattan Hotel

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- More than 600 Lower Manhattan hotel guests were flooded out of their rooms early Monday morning.

As CBS2's Diane Macedo reported, it's the tallest Holiday Inn in the world, but on this frigid day the massive tower on Washington Street proved no match for a 1-inch pipe as water started flowing from the roof around 4:15 a.m.

Water Leak Forces Evacuations At Lower Manhattan Hotel

In some areas, water could be seen dripping from the ceiling and pooling up on the floor and even made it all the way down to the lobby of the hotel.

"The whole lobby was flooded and there was three elevators and it was like raining," one hotel guest visiting from Texas told 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa.

Tammi Robert, who is visiting from Rhode Island, was just one of hundreds of guests who were evacuated when the fire alarm went off early Monday morning.

"Water was pouring out of the elevators and out of the ceiling," said Robert. "We did hear a call out to disregard the alarm, that there wasn't a fire. But when you're on the 23rd flood, you don't disregard the alarm."

While there was no fire, General Manager Greg Riley said there was a problem.

"We had a fire sprinkler pipe on the roof that burst," he explained.

Other guests reported confusion with what they were expected to do.

"So we walked all the way down from the 45th to the 12th. They said there was no fire so we went back up. The fireman came all the way up to the 45th again and said that we should evacuate," said guest Tony Woods, of Detroit. "It was ridiculous and I have asthma."

Still, Riley said the hotel and others are doing everything they can to help.

"We've got rooms in neighboring hotels that we're putting some people up," he said. "FDNY was here right away. Emergency management, they helped us a lot. The restaurant next door opened up to get us some warmth and coffee."

But some guests have nowhere to go but the lobby of the hotel, which though inside, still isn't providing much warmth, Macedo reported.

"Everything is a mess. So they're transferring us to another hotel," said Mete Gulmen, visiting from Turkey. "so we're waiting here for a cab to take us."

The FDNY said one person was hospitalized for minor injuries after slipping and falling during the evacuation.

Meanwhile, hotel staff is working to relocate remaining guests to any habitable rooms left inside the Holiday Inn as contractors get started on repairs. The hotel had no estimate on when repairs might be finished.

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