Water Main Break Shuts Down Houston Street, Floods Katz's Deli

Houston Street flooded and buckled in front of Katz's Delicatessen on the Lower East Side Thursday after a water main broke and flooded the famed eatery and several other businesses.

Houston was closed between Allen and Essex streets after the 20-inch main from 1959 ruptured.

The Department of Environmental Protection says the water main break is an anomaly and it doesn't appear that nearby construction caused it. 

City officials said five commercial buildings and eight residential buildings were without water for several hours, but the main was repaired and service was restored by about 1 a.m. Thursday. Crews worked overnight to make road repairs, which were expected to be completed sometime Friday.

Basements of several buildings were flooded, including Katz's, owner Jake Dell said. An entire garbage truck's worth of food had to be thrown out.

"It's a nightmare down there, the basement got completely flooded, destroyed everything in its path," said Dell.

Still, the deli, famous for its pastrami sandwiches and the restaurant scene from "When Harry Met Sally...," was open Thursday amid the construction.

"At the end of the day, no one got hurt, everyone's OK," said Dell. "It is what it is. We'll make do." 

-- Checkey Beckford contributed to this report. 

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