YONKERS, N.Y. – City officials are asking residents to conserve water and avoid two major highways after a water main break early Monday afternoon in Yonkers.
Mayor Mike Spano said a private contractor accidentally broke the 30-inch main that borders the Saw Mill River Parkway, near Wendover Road, while installing fiber-optic cables just around noon.
The spill flooded the Saw Mill River Parkway with about a foot of water and left as many as 50,000 residents in southwest Yonkers with disruptions in water service. Officials have also closed a portion of the Saw Mill River Parkway and westbound Cross County Parkway.
“We are working to isolate the problem,” Spano said. “It’s all hands on deck.”
As of Monday evening, crews continued to work, attempting to determine the damage to the main and isolate the portion that was broken. Public Works Commissioner Thomas Meier said the pipe was one of the city’s main suppliers, bringing water from the east side of the city to the west.
Meier said the first task for crews was to fully close the valve.
“As long as that water continues to flow, it is difficult for us to get in there and make the repairs,” he said, adding no timetable could be set for when the repairs would be made.
In the meantime, nearly all of southwest Yonkers is without water service, muddy water or low water pressure. City officials said they continued to monitor the situation at St. Joseph's Medical Center, where an internal disaster mode has been initiated after limited to no water service all afternoon.
At St. John’s Riverside Hospital, a spokesperson said no significant problems had been noticed.
“We just have a low pressure,” she said. “Other than that we’re fine.”
Cars heading southbound on the Saw Mill River Parkway are being diverted at the Rumsey Road exit in Yonkers, county officials said. Residual traffic has backed up the westbound Cross County Parkway and has forced officials to close the highway and begin diverting cars onto Central Park Avenue, officials said.
“The best advice at moment is to try to avoid that entire area,” said Westchester County Police spokesperson Kieran O’Leary. “It’s causing a lot of traffic congestion and its likely only to get worse as rush hour approaches.”