Water Main Break Flood Forces Raft Rescue

A large water main break on Long Island flooded a street and damaged homes Monday in a neighborhood where families are still struggling after Sandy. 

The 12-inch main broke on Pearl Street in Oceanside Monday afternoon, New York American Water says, forcing 10 homes to be evacuated as water rushed the street, at one point washing over the tops of cars. 

The water eventually receded but it left behind soggy, muddy messes for homeowners.

"Nothing can really be saved," said Eric Morales, who's lived in his home for over 12 years, as he showed the parts of his home that were damaged after five inches of water came up, including a set of brand-new cabinets still in their boxes. "Here we go once again." 

Morales' wife and their three dogs had to be rescued on a raft, he said.

"By the time firefighters came, water was rushing up, the street was flooding, and it was coming up faster than she could get of here," he said. 

Morales said he was still in the long process of raising the home after Sandy, but "the street has been an issue to begin with."

It was the second water main break in as many weeks. 

"We've told council members the street floods on a sunny day at high tide, and nothing gets done," he said.

Crews were working to repair the main. It's not clear what caused the rupture. 

"We don't know what the condition of the break is, what the extent is, but we're going to dig up the area right underneath that red Mercedes and see what the problem," said Chris Buday of New York American Water.

Buday was referring to a red Mercedes dipping into broken ground, right above where the main burst.

"I was shocked, I've never seen this before," said car owner Tamer Seoud, who came home from work to see his car dipping into the ground. "I'm very concerned. It's my car and I don't want to lose it." 

Water has been shut off, along with gas and electricity in the area, as crews work on repairing the main. There was no immediate estimate on how long it will take. 

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