NEWTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Thousands of New Jersey neighbors got thrown a curveball for the holiday.

As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, residents of Newton were hit with a water main break, and were stuck without water for Thanksgiving.

Late Thursday, crews were digging into Sparta Avenue in Newton in an effort to repair the cracked 16-inch water main, which broke near 86 Sparta Ave. around 7:15 a.m. It left the entire town with no water.

Residents of Sparta and Andover were also affected by the main break.

“We were planning on having dessert here and maybe some cocktails later on, so we’re not sure we’re going to be able to do that,” said Robert Slack of Newton.

Slack and his fiancée, Lory Brock, started filling up jugs and bottles of water the minute they noticed the low water pressure.

“Early this morning, we had a little bit of water, but within the last half hour we have nothing,” Slack said.

So they packed their holiday desserts and they are heading to Brock’s mother’s house.

“I got my baking done yesterday, so that was helpful, so because we were able to fill the jugs and the water, I had enough to finish the cooking that I was doing, and then we just have to take everything across town,” Brock said.

In Sparta, upscale Mohawk House, a farm-to-table restaurant, scrambled to dish out Thanksgiving specials.

Owner Steve Sero said the restaurant was coping “fairly well.”

“Everybody seems happy, and – well, first of all staying calm – and there are great people around here. I know that we’re in good hands, so they will fix the problem,” Sero said.

Newton set up a water tank, supplying Newton Medical Center and nursing homes, the town manager said. The town also set up a 1,000 gallon tank called a water buffalo for the county jail and another one on Mill Street and Hillside Avenue, where residents can bring their own containers to fill.

Trucks with non-potable water were also set up located at the Newton firehouse on Mill Street and Lanwood Avenue, and trucks with drinking water were mounted at the Andover Borough fire house on Route 206.

Jersey Central Power & Light was notified because of a nearby utility pole, and the Department of Environmental Protection was notified as well.

A new water main break was installed Thursday night. Water service remained disabled as crews tested the new main, but was expected to resume overnight.

The cause of the main break, more than likely, was the sudden drop in temperature.

After the repair, the town will to turn the water system back on slowly.

Residents can follow updates here.


Leave a Reply