Rotterdam water main break stopped, roads reopened

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. – Crews finished up work in Rotterdam Saturday, but many residents in the area are still dealing with the damage it caused.

“Started coming up in the backyard and it kept getting higher and higher,” said Herbert Wiltsie of Rotterdam.

As water gushed out of a massive 20-inch water main that cracked on Curry Road, it began pouring into Herbert Wiltsie's home nearby.

“It was coming through here like a river,” said Wiltsie.

Saturday you could see evidence of that river that damaged Wiltsie's home.

“I don't know if you call it a sink hole or what. It's caved in alongside the foundation,” said Wiltsie.

Another remnant of the break — Wiltsie's basement is full of water.

It's unclear if the town or Wiltsie's insurance will pay for the damage, but Wiltsie is frustrated that it took the town hours to shut off the water.

“Cause it's their water line that broke, and if they'd gotten it shut off quick enough there wouldn't have been any damage,” said Wiltsie.

But the highway department says with the size of the break, it wasn't an easy task.

“A main like this size we estimated at the height of the break that we were losing 120,000 gallons an hour. Took longer to shut the water off then it did to fix the break itself,” said James Longo, Rotterdam Highway Supervisor.

There was also water in the basements of a doctor's office and another home nearby. The Highway Department says the cause could be old infrastructure.

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