NYCHA no water: Frustrated residents without running water at Washington Houses in East Harlem

NYCHA no water: Frustrated residents without running water at Washington Houses in East Harlem

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) — Thousands of angry residents in East Harlem were without running water Monday night, at the same NYCHA housing complex where many tenants say they have already been dealing with no working gas for nearly two months.

Roughly 3,500 residents spent their Monday filling up buckets, bottles and pans at a fire hydrant before sloshing it all back to their dry apartments as they tried to survive without indoor plumbing.

“This is ridiculous. I have an autistic kid that needs water,” tenant Gracie Feliz said.

Feliz is pregnant and should not be doing any heavy lifting, but she had already made six runs to one of the three watering stations before the night was even over.

It all comes after the water went out in all 14 buildings at the Washington Houses in East Harlem on Monday morning.

“I’m disgusted. I’m very disgusted,” tenant Genevieve Lucky said.

Lucky is 87 years old. In addition to no water, she lives in one of three buildings without gas. That was out in April. So, “Mother Lucky,” as her church calls her, puts soapy water on her hot plate.

“So, I can warm it up and wash the dishes,” Lucky said. “And then I gotta cook. And it takes long to cook.”

“At this point it would take me until maybe midnight tonight to cook dinner, wash the plates, clean up and get the kids ready for school,” tenant Kelly Diaz said. “And I’m back at it 4:30, 5 o’clock in the morning. How do you continue to live like that?”

Dan Greene is the head of all NYCHA properties and told Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang that an incoming water line broke off from the connection Monday morning, causing massive flooding. It took most of the day to pump out the mess. Now the race is on to restore service.

“Our buildings are old. Disinvested in for many years,” Greene said. “We know this is a huge aggravation. More than aggravation. It’s really upsetting.”

“It’s a huge inconvenience,” tenant Soraida Sanchez said. “Things happen, but this is too much.”

NYCHA is hoping to restore cold water sometime during the overnight hours. Hot water will take longer because of damage to the boiler.

As for restoring gas, Eyewitness News was told that that will be more complicated to get back online.


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