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Hoboken water main repairs complete, boil water advisory lifted

March 30, 2013 3:33:49 PM PDT
The boil water advisory put in place in Hoboken following this week's water main breaks has been lifted, after tests showed the city's water is safe to drink.

United Water officials lifted the advisory at 3 p.m. Saturday after determining the water was free of bacteriological contamination.

But crews from United Water were busy Saturday morning repairing another leak that developed in the vicinity of 800 Jefferson Street near 8th Street.

The leak, which was reported by a building superintendent in the area, sent water spilling into the streets.

The new problem developed after crews finished repairing a broken 30-inch water main.

The breaks on Thursday left much of the city without water.

After reports of a third water main break early Friday, the city reclassified the incident as a service leak.

The ruptured main was hit by a PSE&G subcontractor at 14th Street and Willow Avenue around 11 a.m. Thursday and flooded the area with thousands of gallons of water. The breach happened just eight hours after a 12-inch main broke a few blocks away on Willow Avenue and 8th Street.

United Water restored full service Thursday afternoon. A spokesman said crews were able to bypass the busted section of main, which made restoration happen quickly.

Most of the water poured like a waterfall into a nearby construction site that is at least two stories deep, as crews worked to cap the main and stop the flow of water.

Water from the first main break gushed onto the street, though, flooding basements and submerging dozens of vehicles.

A sinkhole formed at the break location, swallowing at least one car.

"I saw a huge crack in the middle of the street with water gushing out of it, and more water gushing out under one of the cars behind it," Hoboken resident Casey Timmeman said. "The car was still sitting normally like it was parked, and then probably in 10, 15 minutes time, it started to sink down into the hole."

The owner of that car tells Eyewitness News that he only recently got the automobile, a replacement after his car was ruined during Hurricane Sandy. And he doesn't even live in the area, but was just visiting his mother, as he did before the superstorm hit.

Several basements in the area were also flooded, at least one of which sustained damage during Sandy and recently had electrical equipment and the boiler replaced.

New Jersey Transit runs bus service on Willow Avenue, which remains closed. Willow is shut down at 11th Street, and 8th Street is closed at Park Avenue.

The first line was capped around 5 a.m. Thursday, and the water receded fairly quickly. But officials were concerned with the structural integrity of Willow Avenue because of the sinking car. Other cars were towed in case more of the street caved in.

CLICK HERE to see images from the scene

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