Jerome Avenue Businesses Continue to Struggle After Flood

It is still uncertain as to when Jerome Avenue will be fully operational again, but until then, local businesses are hurting.

After a 103-year-old water main burst on the corner of Jerome Avenue and East 177th Street on Wednesday, July 27, local businesses were left draining water from their stores after thousands of gallons of water flooded the surrounding streets for over three hours.

By the time the flood was contained, the damage was done, and Jerome Avenue was a complete mess.

For days, owners and workers of local businesses were sweeping water and mud out of their stores, pumping water out of basements, and salvaging whatever they could from their stock.

By Friday, August 5, workers of Con Edison and the city’s Department of Environmental Protection were putting in countless hours to patch up the 40-by-46-foot crater in the middle of Jerome Avenue.

In the meantime, traffic was still shut down between East 177th Street and East 175th Street, and Jerome Avenue businesses still feel the affects of the flood.

“We haven’t been told anything about when things will go back to normal,” said Barry Berson, owner of Tremont Electric Supply Wholesale Distributors on 1785 Jerome Avenue. “Right now our insurance company sent over a restoration team to clean out the damages in the basement, but who knows how long that will take. The water really caused a lot of damage”

During the flood, Berson’s basement, which is seven feet high, was flooded up to the ceiling and workers could not access it without pumping water our for hours.

Along Jerome Avenue, many stores were closed, while others were still in cleanup mode. The street was open to pedestrians and many people continued to make purchases at opened stores, but the section of Jerome Avenue was very quiet for what’s usually a heavy volume.

Many of the stores rely on vehicles coming in and out for deliveries and pick-ups, such as Berson’s electric supply company, or the several auto part businesses. Berson said nobody was told when the streets will reopen to traffic.

“It’s really bad. Just us alone we lost at least a half a million dollars in supplies plus the damages,” Berson said. “I really do hope things go back to normal soon because the businesses are suffering.”

There is no timetable as to when the crater will be completely sealed either, and many local residents are still without gas after the flood damaged nearby lines.

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