Fallout from the Water Main Break: Katz’s Still Open, Lobster Joint Sustains Heavy Damage [PHOTOS]

Posted on: May 23rd, 2014 at 5:13 am by
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Yesterday morning a 20-inch, 1959-vintage water main burst beneath the intersection of East Houston and Ludlow, flooding the streets in a manner not seen since Hurricane Sandy. The water damage caused the full-on collapse of the roadway, creating a sinkhole measuring some thirty feet in diameter. Traffic is obviously stymied for the foreseeable future.

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Pre-cleanup, Photo: @ja0095

As of today, the concrete slabs have been removed from the scene, and DEP workers are down in the ditch resolving the issue; it’ll be awhile. Here are some other updates:

  • According to the DEP, East Houston could reopen by 10:30pm tonight.
  • Katz’s Deli remains open, but its basement was completely flooded. Same with all the other businesses on the block, for that matter. Katz’s owner Jake Dell told us that he heard the floor “pop” shortly after 11am, and within five minutes water came gushing through the foundation. Everything stored down there was compromised, and needed to be tossed.
  • Empanada Mama and Bereket will reopen later today.
  • Lobster Joint right next door wasn’t so lucky. General manager Alex Linomontes told the Wall Street Journal that the restaurant sustained hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage – losing a bunch of equipment and stored seafood – and that they’re most likely out of business.
  • CBS News reports that water was shut off to five commercial and eight residential buildings during repairs. No word on when it’ll be restored. We only spotted one sign alerting residents to the issue, posted to the doorway of Ludlow Street.
  • The sidewalk between Orchard and Ludlow Street should reopen today, but there is no timetable for when eastbound traffic resumes.

Meanwhile, this collapse will no doubt affect the timeline of the ongoing East Houston infrastructural rehabilitation project. It was already running two years behind schedule, and will now be pushed back even further. Total disaster, and certainly a frustration for this block, which continues to endure the brunt of the upgrade.

More images:

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