The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says subway service has resumed with residual delays in and around Greenwich Village early Wednesday morning following an overnight water main break.
Crews are still working to repair the 36-inch cast iron main which broke shortly after midnight at 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, flooding the intersection and nearby streets.
The water disrupted morning subway and bus service in the area and knocked out power to one building on the block.
The Department of Environmental Protection says the pipe is about 115 years old and that its age and recent fluctuations in temperature are the chief suspects in causing the sudden rupture.
"This is an old main and so it would be naive to think that that wasn't a major factor. The freeze/thaw, real cold and then the warming up, doesn't help any of the water supply systems. See things happening all over the country," said DEP Deputy Commissioner Jim Roberts.
The morning rush included some frantic pumping at some buildings in the area as some basements flooded with several feet of water.
Residents also reported brown water flowing from their taps.
"None of us were able to take showers, brush our teeth. All that fun stuff," said one neighborhood resident.
"Thankfully it wasn't during that polar arctic thing. I don't known what would have happened if it were that cold out. With all that water, a whole different story," said another resident.
The newly constructed University Center at The New School on Fifth Avenue had no running water at all as staff members were preparing to move in.
"We were going to be moving in the library in today but that has been postponed indefinitely," said John Aubry, the library's access director.
DEP officials say it could take a while to fix the broken main and cleanup the area.
As a result, the MTA says M2 and M5 buses have been re-routed onto Broadway and are not running on Fifth Avenue.
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