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Water main break leaves most of Hoboken with little-to-no pressure

State of emergency continues in Hoboken due to water main break
State of emergency continues in Hoboken due to water main break 02:28

HOBOKEN. N.J. -- There is a state of emergency in Hoboken as crews scramble to make repairs following a water main break earlier Monday.

Of all the days to have a problem like this, the weather is certainly not helping the repair process.

Water has been flowing out of the ground for almost 12 straight hours. It is taking crews an unusually long time to find the valve to shut the stream off so they can start making repairs.

The water has been flowing out of the ground at Madison Street and Observer Highway.

Exclusive surveillance video shows the moment the line ruptured just before noon, shooting water up like a geyser.

The said a contractor for PSE&G accidentally broke a 16-inch water main.

"We're doing what we can to try to isolate the main, make the repair, restore water pressure city-wide as quickly as possible," said Christopher Halleron, communications manager for Veolia Water.

The break has been flooding the area and causing little-to-no water pressure for all 58,000 residents in Hoboken.

"I just need a shower. I'll figure that out," resident Megan Hoffnagle said.

Although authorities say the tap water is safe, the Office of Emergency Management is providing drinking water throughout the city, and people are trekking out in the snow to fill up bottles and barrels of it.

"Every water container I can find in home," resident Liam Yu said.

"We live on the 15th floor, so there's no water pressure," Dave Lucas added.

Lucas said he already needs a refill for his family.

"Four people trying to do normal things, go to the bathroom, drink, clean dishes, and stuff like that. Yeah, it's a challenge," Lucas said.

People in Hoboken are no strangers to water main breaks. They happen quite frequently with the city's aging infrastructure. But unlike most other times, this break was caused by human error and is creating a more prolonged mess.

"I'm just hoping there's a hot shower in the morning, but who knows? This is not the first time this happened in Hoboken," said Megan Tevnan, of the Hoboken Emergency Response Team.

The state requires all bars, restaurants, gyms, nail salons and other establishments that do not have water to close until their water is restored. Repairs are expected to continue during the overnight hours so residents should prepare to have their water service impacted until at least Tuesday morning.

The Office of Emergency Management is making drinking water available for pickup at seven locations throughout Hoboken. They are:

  • Hoboken University Medical Center, 308 Willow Ave.
  • 220 Adams St.
  • 221 Jackson St.
  • Fox Hills, 1301 Willow Ave.
  • Fourth and Harrison Streets
  • Columbian Towers, 76 Bloomfield St.
  • Stevens' Wesley Howe Center, 1 Castlepoint Terrace
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