NBC 4 New York
A boil water advisory remains in effect in Hoboken Friday, more than 24 hours after two water main breaks disrupted the city. A third leak was discovered Friday, aggravating residents' troubles. Pat Battle reports.
Hoboken is facing its third water-related problem in two days, and the latest headache comes just hours after utility crews restored water to the city's 50,000 residents following two water main breaks Thursday that cut off service to some and dramatically reduced pressure for others.
United Water initially described Friday's problem as a water main break at Park Avenue and 13th Street, but then clarified it as a service leak, which is a leak on an individual line that extends from a water main to a property. In this case, only one specific address is affected, a spokesman said.
But water bubbling up from the ground has been a familiar sight for most city residents the last two days. The latest leak is located around the corner from where a construction crew broke a 30-inch pipe on Willow Avenue and 14th Street late Thursday morning, shutting off water to most of the city.
The 30-inch break came just hours after crews responded to a 12-inch break that caused a street to buckle and flooded basements near Eighth Street and Willow Avenue.
Rich Henning, a spokesman for United Water, told NBC 4 New York aging infrastructure caused the first break Thursday. He said the 12-inch main was 80 to 100 years old.
The larger water main break was repaired by Friday morning, but United Water said a boil-water advisory would remain in effect until further notice. Water testing should be finished by Saturday, and the results will then have to be verified by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Hoboken residents should boil their water for at least one minute before drinking, cooking or making ice. Water does not need to be boiled to shower, wash dishes or clothing.
The water in the streets of Hoboken Thursday brought uncomfortable memories for the city's residents.
Almost exactly five months ago, Sandy forced the Hudson River over its banks and inundated the 1-square-mile city of 50,000 residents.
"It was just like Sandy, looking out and not being able to go outside," Arianna Tirri said as she described knee-high water in the street and 3 feet of water in her basement.
Tirri, 33, said many residents in her five-story building had just moved belongings last weekend into basement storage units that had been rebuilt after Sandy.
Flooding caused by Sandy was particularly severe in Hoboken properties with basements. Floodwaters also overwhelmed the city's historic rail terminal and suspended train service into New York City for weeks after the storm.
Tirri said Thursday's disruption renewed concerns about the city's aging infrastructure.
"I was talking to a friend and we were saying the infrastructure in town is old and the town is booming, so our concern is whether the town is built for the volume we have," she said. "But we have a lot of good people in power who are doing something about that."
-Sheldon Dutes contributed to this report