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Monday, March 28, 2011

Broken Pipe Floods Staten Island Hall Basement

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A broken service line sent water cascading into the basement of Borough Hall yesterday, sending agency workers home early.

It was the second mishap in the last few months at Borough Hall. The seat of Staten Island government was temporarily shut after a fire damaged its electrical plant in January.

All offices are open today as normal.

Officials said that the 6-inch water line ruptured yesterday around 3 p.m. while contractors working for Consolidated Edison were doing on-going repair work stemming from the fire in a dug-out area on the Stuyvesant Place side of Borough Hall.

An FDNY official said that the workers were not working in the area of the rupture, and it was not known how the pipe was damaged.

Con Ed spokesman Christopher Olert said he didn’t think that the electrical work being done impacted the pipe.

He said a newly installed electrical vault, meant to boost Borough Hall’s power service, was flooded during the incident.

Con Ed and National Grid workers responded to the scene, as did officials with the city Office of Emergency Management and Department of Environmental Protection.

With the water shut off and bathrooms disabled, city Buildings Department and Department of Transportation offices in the building were closed shortly after the break, with employees leaving early.

Members of Borough President James Molinaro’s staff stayed until 5 p.m.

It was unclear if the building would be open today. As a precaution, Molinaro postponed a Red Cross recognition event that was to held at Borough Hall today.

“What can you do?” said Molinaro.

Water flooding into the basement was rerouted to an interior drain. The basement is used mainly for storage. Crews also worked to drain water from the busted pipe that flooded a deep trench in the outside work area.

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