HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hoboken residents can’t catch a break from water main breaks.
As crews continued to make repairs to a massive water main break that left roadways and sidewalks flooded, another break was reported, slowing down water restoration.
“After working to isolate a water main break on a transmission line in southwest Hoboken on Sunday that led to widespread water pressure loss throughout the city, an additional 36 inch valve failed last night and disrupted a transmission main which feeds water from Jersey City into Hoboken,” the city posted on its Facebook page Monday. “This has further delayed full repairs to our water system. The City of Hoboken purchases its water from Jersey City, and it normally flows into Hoboken through large transmission mains.”
“In an effort to isolate that break — basically to stop the water from running out of that break — we operated some valves in Jersey City. In doing so, one valve broke,” explained Riat Christopher of SUEZ Water North Jersey.
City officials said repairs are complicated and could go through Thanksgiving, CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported.
“That valve break needs to be repaired first before they can do the repairs in Hoboken,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer emphasized.
Standing water could still be seen in the street Monday, more than 24 hours after the first break. The 24-inch valve of the water main burst Sunday near the city’s border with Jersey City, leaving many people with little or no water.
“This morning, I was just able to brush my teeth,” resident Evelyn Rivera, who has no water in her Jackson Street apartment, told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “It’s difficult. People have babies where I live. It’s hard.”
Restaurant co-owner Chris Bakey said his business is “literally on an island” and is losing money every minute water remains on the street.
When asked what he wants to say to city officials, Bakey said: “I just want to let them know, let’s clean it up.”
At a nearby deli, the taps are running, but the water pressure is far lower than they’re used to after being dry all day Sunday.
“I lost a lot of business, a lot of money,” said deli owner Bassem Ghovrial.
Ghovrial said he had barely any business Sunday and the gridlock outside has kept away his usual customers Monday, costing him thousands in sales.
But at least he could get to work. Yilmaz Agun headed home Monday morning after finding his job surrounded by water.
“I can’t get into my building,” he said. “I’m going home. What are you going to do?”
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, the water wasn’t enough to keep some residents away from their Hoboken Crossfit gym, even if it meant going barefoot.
“They’re pretty cold. They’re almost numb, but it’s alright, almost but I can still feel them,” Sneh Udavat said.
As water problems continued in the southwest part of the city, news of a second break in Jersey City means more delays.
“It’s a complicated repair that needs to be done before they can do repairs in Hoboken,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer said.
The city said water pressure has been restored to many residents, but added that crews are still working to restore water pressure in some of the high-rise buildings.
“Unfortunately, if you’re in a high-rise building and you’ve been experiencing low water pressure, then it’s possible that’s what you’re going to be experiencing through Thanksgiving, and you may want to make your plans accordingly,” said Zimmer.
Some residents who had water restored were reporting that water had been shut off again Monday morning.
The city tweeted that some Hoboken customers may have experienced lower water pressure due to high demand Monday morning.
Meanwhile, a boil water advisory also remains in effect. SUEZ Water says residents should continue to boil for at least one minute any water that will be consumed. Water doesn’t have to be boiled for showering or washing dishes or clothes.
Numerous water tankers have been deployed so residents can get clean drinking water. The tanks are located at 76 Bloomfield Street, 310-320 Jackson Street, 311 13th Street and at 1st Street and Washington Street next to City Hall.
SUEZ Water also says customers in Hudson County and southern Bergen County may experience lower than normal water pressure, especially during high demand periods.
The company is asking customers to refrain from running dishwashers and washing machines until the break is completely fixed.
There’s also concern that some buildings may not be able to get heat to some units. Many have pumps that bring heat to the higher floors.
Road closures in southwest Hoboken will also remain in effect until at least Monday afternoon.
Observer Highway is closed west of Henderson Street to Jersey Avenue and Harrison Street is closed from Paterson Avenue to Newark Street. Jackson Street is closed from Newark Street to Paterson Avenue.
Residents normally exiting or entering Hoboken through the south portion of the city are urged to use public transportation or travel through the north end.
Extra officers are on hand to direct traffic.
For more information, visit www.hobokennj.org.
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