72-inch breach triggers NJ water emergency; Sinkhole Swallows Car, Cooking Notes released

The tire was the only part of the car that stuck out, according to footage provided by the Mayor of Belleville

Coutesy: Office of the Mayor of Belleville

A 72-inch water main burst wreaked havoc in New Jersey’s largest city and surrounding communities on Tuesday. Hospitals are being forced to reroute some high-risk patients and the Newark Board of Education is declaring a citywide water emergency as crews respond to a vehicle submerged in a sinkhole, officials said.

The pipe ruptured around 8 a.m. at Branch Brook Park on the border between Newark and neighboring Belleville, Belleville community leader Anthony Iacono said. This led to initial confusion as to the origin of the rupture. At 9:15 a.m. it was not yet clear how many separate water lines might be affected or how many disruptions there might be.

Apparently there were two – the main problem at Branch Brook Park on Mill Street and a secondary problem on Joralemon Street, also in Belleville, firefighters said. The fire department worked to apply pressure.

All of Belleville was without water or at low pressure and most of Newark — particularly the north, west, south and central boroughs — were similarly struggling, officials said. Both communities have a water-boiling recommendation in place, and Newark says it will be going door-to-door and distributing water. Several hospitals are affected. Some distracted patients or water or both.

Footage provided by the Mayor of Belleville showed a vehicle tire sticking out of the muddy water. It was not clear if it was occupied at the time of the flood or if the person had to be rescued.

“It is with great caution that we are advising residents affected by the water main disruption to boil their tap water until further notice. See previous posts for more information,” Belleville officials wrote on Facebook.

Both Belleville and Newark water boards are working to contain the problem, officials said. The Newark Office of Emergency Management is asking neighboring cities for help to supply water tankers while repairs are made.

With the vast majority of the area completely waterless or enduring low pressure, the Newark Board of Education declared a “citywide water emergency” and canceled all post-summer school programs for the day.

Chopper 4 showed puddles of water at a bridge on Branch Brook Park Drive when vehicle backups began to develop around 8:15 a.m. A river does flow along the road, but it’s not supposed to look like it did on Tuesday.

Water gushed from what appeared to be a gaping hole in the middle of the street.

A short flight away, people in Belleville stood in ankle-deep water on Mill Street where the rupture occurred. It wasn’t clear when officials expected a timeline for full recovery, or if they had isolated and contained the issue by mid-morning.

Newark is served by two upstream reservoirs, although it’s not clear if they serve the city through separate water lines.

The investigations are ongoing.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/09/72-inch-break-triggers-nj-water-emergency-sinkhole-swallows-car-boil-advisories-issued.html 72-inch breach triggers NJ water emergency; Sinkhole Swallows Car, Cooking Notes released

Joshua Buckhalter

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