NEW YORK — Hundreds of people inside Long Island City are without water after a major water main break.
The water poured from a city pipe, turning a road into a river and partially submerging many parked vehicles.
As CBS2’s John Dias reports, this isn’t the first time this has happened. The old saying, “Lightning never strikes the same place twice,” now seems like a myth to those who live there.
Dirty water spouted from the ground and looked like water coming out of a pan. But Alex Saez told Dias it’s his blood that boils with rage.
“The water was high here, almost 3 feet of water,” Saez said.
The major water main breach flooded Vernon Boulevard for two hours on Tuesday morning, destroying Saez’s SUV and many other vehicles.
Making matters worse, neighbors say this is the second time the same conduit has burst, and the second vehicle that Saez lost.
“I’m still waiting, still waiting for a response from the city. I’m still waiting for a response,” he told Dias.
It was January 2021† The water was colder then, but the damage was about the same. However, the anger is now more intense.
“The city needs to respond because this is ridiculous,” said resident Stephanie Vargas.
Rhonda Barnaby had to replace her car after the first break. On Memorial Day, a drunk driver crashed into her car, so she drove a rental car — which is now also destroyed.
“Now I have to pay for the rental car,” she said. “I thought it was safe there. I didn’t think it would break again.”
While the crew spent all day repairing the fracture and figuring out what went wrong, residents spent it assessing the damage.
“Come down and find water up to my window. One meter of water, even more,” said one resident.
When the water receded, he found his child’s shoe in a pool of water. He said most of the people affected live in the Queensbridge South Houses in NYCHA.
“You really need to solve these problems because there are people who live here and we are people like everyone else,” he said.
When this happened last year, residents said they were without water for more than 24 hours.
CBS2 has reached out to the city’s Department of Environmental Protections for clarification on what’s wrong. We are still waiting for their updates.