A burst pipe on 125th Street and Broadway on Tuesday morning caused a geyser-like stream of water high enough to brush the bottom of the 1 train tracks.
The burst cut water supply to nearby businesses for several hours. Local store owners said that the pipe began jetting water as Department of Environmental Protection workers were performing routine maintenece on the site.
“From back here it looked like Old Faithful,” Dan Hoose, kitchen director at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, said. “It was pretty neat.”
Employees at several nearby stores, including Fairway Market, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, El Floridita, and the Cotton Club, said that their water was turned off until just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
Fairway Market stayed closed until the water turned back on, according to employees.
“If a store doesn’t have water, it’s not supposed to operate because if there’s a fire there’s no water to pump,” Sammy Gutierrez, an assistant manager at Fairway Market, said.
Meanwhile, at Floridita, a Cuban restaurant on 125th Street and 12th Avenue, employees were “scrambling” to make up for lost time after the water turned back on.
“We had sandwiches that we could sell, and we had electric so we could warm up the sandwiches,” owner Ramon Diaz said. "Business was hurt.”
But despite the inconvenience, locals said the geyser was a diversion during the work day.
“A lot of people took videos,” Bakshish Singh Rai, an employee at Lincoln Fried Chicken on 125th Street and Broadway, said.
Hoose, not a native New Yorker, said that to him, the incident was yet another quirk of city living.
“The way they engineer around here, there’s a whole other living city under the ground,” he said. “There’s as much going on down below as there is up on the street a lot of the time.”
Photos and video by Bakshish Singh Rai.