ROTTERDAM, N.Y. – Four separate water main breaks led to a State of Emergency being issued in the town of Rotterdam.
The town of Rotterdam declared a state of emergency at 4 p.m. Monday. The town experienced an unprecedented four water main breaks in 18 hours. The town said approximately 20,000 residents are without adequate water.
Crews have been on the scene of the breaks since 3:30 a.m. Officials believe one of the town’s primary water mains on Princetown Road was the first to break. Homes in the area were flooding.
“I had a good foot and a half in the back yard,” resident Carrie Grattan said. “The front as you can see is a mess.”
“That was a large break,” Deputy Town Supervisor Wayne Calder said. “That’s a 20-inch line. A main line.”
Town leaders think the Princetown Road water main break may have led to the three additional water main breaks.
“Because the pressure changes when a break happens, and if they shut one line off it may cause more pressure on another,” Calder said.
The town estimates most residents’ water will be restored between 9 p.m. and midnight.
The boil water advisory will remain in effect for zip codes 12303 and 12306 even after water is restored. The water will not be drinkable for at least 24 to 36 hours.
Fresh water became available to residents at 6 p.m. at 1410 Curry Road in Schenectady, or the former Curry Road Shopping Center. Residents should bring their own one gallon jug to be filled with drinking water by town staff.
The Red Cross has provided bottled water for residents who cannot provide their own container.
“This is organized by the town,” Ed Roosa with the Red Cross said. “They have 8,000 gallons in this water tender.”
Residents who are homebound should contact the Rotterdam Police Department for assistance at 518-355-7331.
Once water has been restored, residents are not to use water unnecessarily. Use of water for nonessential purposes such as lawn sprinkling is prohibited. Burning of any land is also strictly prohibited.
“We don’t have enough water, we feel right now, to properly fight a fire if we need to,” Calder said.
Despite the difficulties of the water main breaks, most residents seemed to be taking it in stride.
“We’re safe. We’re alive. My pets are okay,” Grattan said. “I’m back with my pets. That’s all I care about.”