Schenectady County

Water main break leads to sunken car, rooftop rescue

A water main break in front of the Domino’s Pizza at 1441 Broadway Saturday morning helped punch a h

A water main break in front of the Domino’s Pizza at 1441 Broadway Saturday morning helped punch a hole in the shop’s parking lot, sinking a car and prompting a rooftop rescue.

Schenectady Police Sgt. Luciano Savoia said the Schenectady Fire Department responded to calls of a sinkhole and damage from the water main break at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Schenectady Fire Department Deputy Chief Raymond Senecal said the responders discovered that the main break had eroded the sand under the parking lot used by the Domino’s and Guidarelli’s Liquor Store. A Dodge Saturn sedan parked in front of the Domino’s entrance tipped into a 15-by-15-foot hole.

“We had an occupant in the building. It was early in the morning and he was sleeping. He couldn’t come out the front door because the sinkhole was right in front of his front door,” Senecal said. “We had to take him off the roof with a ladder because there was only one entrance to the apartment.”

Senecal said National Grid cut the power and gas to the building and the water was shut down.

“The basement to the Domino’s was full of water; it actually had mud in it, I believe,” he said. “Our concern was right behind that is an embankment and there’s nothing shoring up those buildings, so the water was actually going right through the bottom of the building. So being that it’s on a hill, the water came through on the first floor and exited the basement. Our concern was compromise of the building structure.”

Savoia said the Schenectady code enforcement officials have evaluated the damage to the two buildings.

“They’ve been deemed structurally safe. I don’t know if they are still open or not, but our code enforcement says the buildings are safe,” Savoia said.

No one could be reached at the phone numbers for the damaged Domino’s or Guidarelli’s Saturday.

Schenectady Department of Public Works Employees were repairing the break Saturday afternoon. Savoia said there was no estimate on how long it would take. He said that other than the damage from the hole, not much was disrupted.

“The road wasn’t closed, traffic is flowing; there was just a couple of reports of loss of water pressure to a couple of houses,” Savoia said.

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