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Water main break floods Oceanside homes, forces boat rescue

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OCEANSIDE, N.Y. – Residents along Pearl Street in Oceanside have been through this before. Floodwaters racing into their homes, twice as the result of hurricanes and Monday because an aging water main burst.

It sent torrents of water and mud racing across well-manicured lawns and into basements and garages.  The culprit was a 65-year-old 12-inch cast iron water main that buckled the pavement, a portion of which sank with a parked car atop.

Thirty homes were impacted by the break, a dozen of them had to be evacuated. Eric Morales said his wife was traumatized by it.

"She was in the kitchen and there was no water pressure in the sink," he said.  "She began to call the water company when she looked out the window and was shocked to see water gushing fro the street."

He told her to grab their three dogs and get into the car.  But the water approached so quickly, she felt trapped.  Firefighters arrived and took her out in a Zodiac rescue boat.  Morales said this is the third time his street has been flooded in recent years, twice by Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

Engineers from New York American Water had the broken main shutdown within 45 minutes.  Tamer Seoud was shocked to come home from work to find his car parked at the wrong place at the wrong time.  It began to sink as the street buckled beneath it.  He was hoping a tow truck arrived before it was swallowed into the hole.

Chris Buday, Vice President of Operations for the water company said it was too early to pinpoint the cause of the break.

"It could be any number of things," he said.

Buday said the company took responsibility for the mess and would "do the right thing" for the homeowners affected.

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