New Jersey

Monster Sinkhole Swallows SUV in Hoboken After Water Main Break

Bus routes in the area were affected as crews worked to repair the break

A huge sinkhole swallowed an SUV after a 12-inch water main break flooded streets in Hoboken, New Jersey, Tuesday morning. 

Chopper 4 showed the muddied red SUV on its side as workers stood around the waterlogged pit on Willow Avenue between Fifth and Sixth avenues just before 7:30 a.m. No one was in the vehicle; it had apparently been submerged and workers only noticed it once the water receded. 

Utility company Suez was investigating the break. It said no customers were without water by 9:30 a.m., and repairs were expected to be completed by early afternoon. 

Streets were shut down in the area as crews worked to repair the main. Some NJ Transit bus service was rerouted.

Hoboken is still struggling to get a handle on more than 20 miles of water mains more than 100 years old. 

"I just don't see this problem getting any better. It keeps getting worse and worse and worse," said Lorenzo Magarelli. "I'm afraid of me waking up on my block and having a water main break." 

News 4 discovered more than a year ago a list of 40 Suez-recommended high-priority repairs, with an estimated cost of $15 million.

The city, which owns the pipes, is seeking more revenue that could pay for approximately $20 million worth of work.

For a city that had more than 20 major breaks last year, getting that money out of Suez is a high priority. 

"We were far apart, we're much closer now," Mayor Dawn Zimmer said of the ongoing negotiations with Suez. "And I'm confident we're going to be able to reach an agreement." 

The cause of Tuesday's break is under investigation. 

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