YONKERS, N.Y. – The water main break that made a mess of the city has been isolated, Yonkers officials announced Monday night. But with repairs an estimated 24-48 hours away, they have begun providing bottled water to more than a dozen senior citizen and nursing homes around Yonkers.
Mayor Mike Spano said crews will work through the night in an effort to determine the damage to the pipe system and stop the water flow that is spilling onto the Saw Mill River Parkway.
“We are moving very cautiously but very quickly,” Spano said at an evening press conference.
On Monday night, Westchester County issued a boil water advisory to all of southwest Yonkers that will remain in effect until further notice.
In the meantime, city officials said they are distributing cases of bottled water and working with the Yonkers Fire Department to reroute water in an effort to help some 50,000 to 70,000 southwest Yonkers residents who have been left with discolored water, low water pressure or no water service at all.
The city is also working with the New York State Office of Emergency Management to set up water distribution centers for residents affected by the break.
“I just ask the residents of our city to try to be patient,” Spano said. “We are working around the clock to deal with this issue.”
Earlier Monday afternoon, the mayor 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 around 12:30 p.m.
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 nearly 100-year-old pipe.
“As long as that water continues to flow, it is difficult for us to get in there and make the repairs,” he said.
As of Monday night, the southbound Saw Mill River Parkway near Rumsey Road remained closed along with the westbound Cross County Parkway near the Central Park Avenue exit.
Officials said the closures would likely remain closed throughout much of the day Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday.
“The best advice at moment is to try to avoid that entire area,” said Westchester County Police Spokesperson Kieran O’Leary.
Officials suggested motorists take the Bronx River Parkway, Hutchinson Parkway, New York State Thruway or I-95 to head south.
People with questions are asked to call the city’s help line at 914-377-4357.