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Nov 17, 2008 10:34 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hydrant flood stalls traffic in Water Mill

Nov 17, 2008 10:34 AM

A vehicle struck a fire hydrant in Water Mill on Monday morning, causing a minor flood on Montauk Highway as well as a traffic delays.

Water spouted from the ground between The Green Thumb and Warren’s Nursery on the south side of the highway, flooding the street enough to slow traffic but not enough to force authorities to close down the road.

Suffolk County Water Authority spokesman Paddy South said water service was out in the area for a little more than an hour, between 9 and 10:15 a.m.

Mr. South explained that normally when a fire hydrant is struck it breaks away and the water is automatically cut off. But in this case, the underground junction between the hydrant and the 16-inch water main also broke.

The Authority does not know whose vehicle struck the fire hydrant, Mr. South said.

SCWA workers pumped the flood water down the road to distribute it, and the New York State Department of Transportation was also on hand. Eileen Peters, spokeswoman for the department’s Hauppauge office, said a DOT foreman was on patrol when he noticed the flood, and workers were called in to assist and make sure the flow of water did not undermine the road. The workers will backfill areas the flooding washed out, she said.

Jimmy Robles, the owner of Chariots of Fire auto restoration shop across the street from the hydrant, said the water flooded his garage and pushed a pile of sand in front of the garage doors, blocking cars from getting in or out. He said he tried to used his tractor to push the sand out of the way but was unsuccessful. “I was doing okay for a while, but it was really heavy to move that sand,” he said.

Eventually, DOT workers showed up with a payloader twice the size of his tractor and cleared the sand pile for him, Mr. Robles said.

The water also ran down Nowedonah Avenue and was about a foot deep, according to Mr. Robles. “I just woke up this morning, and I saw a river down my block,” he said.

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