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Water Main Breaks Spur Sandy Memories in Hoboken [VIDEO]

More water in the streets of Hoboken brought uncomfortable memories Thursday for the city’s residents.

Water main break in Hoboken on Thursday afternoon
Water main break in Hoboken on Thursday afternoon (WABC TV)

Almost exactly five months ago, Superstorm Sandy forced the Hudson River over its banks and inundated the 1-square-mile city of 50,000 residents. On Thursday, it was two water main breaks that shut down streets, left some residents without water and prompted an advisory that everyone else boil their water.

By early evening, the water company that serves Hoboken said one of the two broken water mains had been fixed and crews were preparing to repair the second one.

Earlier Thursday, an alarm went off in Ariana Tirri’s building at 3 a.m. when a 12-inch water main broke, sending residents to their windows for a familiar sight.

“It was just like Sandy, looking out and not being able to go outside,” Tirri said as she described knee-high water in the street and 3 feet of water in her basement.

Tirri, 33, said many residents in her five-story building had just moved belongings last weekend into basement storage units that had been rebuilt after Sandy.

Officials did not immediately provide an explanation for the break. Several hours later, a contractor at a construction site blocks away hit a 30-inch water main, causing it to rupture. Residents of Willow Avenue between 8th and 9th streets were told to expect to be without water. Water pressure elsewhere in the city was expected to fluctuate as repairs continued.

Crews from United Water prepared to replace the pipes at the earlier break by the afternoon. The company issued an advisory to residents to restrict their water use and boil water for at least one minute before drinking, cooking, taking medication, brushing teeth, washing food or mixing baby formula.

Flooding caused by Sandy was particularly severe in Hoboken properties with basements. Floodwaters also overwhelmed the city’s historic rail terminal and suspended train service into New York City for weeks after the storm.

Tirri said Thursday’s disruption renewed concerns about the city’s aging infrastructure.

“I was talking to a friend and we were saying the infrastructure in town is old and the town is booming, so our concern is whether the town is built for the volume we have,” she said. “But we have a lot of good people in power who are doing something about that.”

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)


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