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Hoboken Mayor Calls Spike In Water Main Breaks 'Unacceptable & Unfair'

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – For the second time in a week, a water main broke Saturday in Hoboken.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla has called for an emergency meeting with SUEZ Water executives on Monday.

The 16-inch water main break at Newark and Hudson streets is the latest in a spike this summer, CBS2's Lisa Rozner reported. It sent a river cascading down several nearby streets.

One business owner said it flooded the TD Bank basement with four feet of water.

"It just flooded up to the ground," Frank Marciano told Rozner. "And it just spread over the whole area."

The mayor said this is the sixth major break in six weeks.

"Typically, water main breaks occur in the winter when the pipes freeze. We're in the middle of summer," Bhalla said.

He believes it may have been caused by another SUEZ project.

"I'm very concerned that there is a connection between the water chamber meter project at the sudden spike in water main breaks throughout Hoboken," he said. "We will be very vigorously investigating whether or not there is a connection."

The recently installed meter calibrates the amount of water Hoboken uses daily, Rozner reported.

SUEZ Water blames aging infrastructure. But residents told Rozner the city has been plagued by water main breaks for decades.

"It's the 30th water main break in like eight years I've seen," said resident Chris Coholtz.

In February 2017, one formed a sinkhole that an SUV fell into. Last Monday, water flowed through the streets after a 12-inch water main broke near Newark and Adams streets.

"I feel like it shouldn't be happening so often, so frequently," resident Jackie Gheraldi said.

One resident has been sharing a flier on social media, pleading with officials and SUEZ Water to put a stop to the problem.

"You know, the taxes are real high here. If I can't do anything about it in Hoboken, there's no hope for anybody," said resident Lee Thabet.

Some are skeptical about the mayor's emergency meeting on Monday.

"They're going to put money where they want to put money," resident Paul Ogmissanti said.

Saturday's incident affected traffic along the major thoroughfare that leads to the PATH train station. Residents experienced low water pressure for a few hours but there was no one without water.

SUEZ Water said crews were able to isolate the main and put in a new pipe. The next step will be to repave the road, which the mayor hopes will happen by the Monday morning rush.

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