Jersey City, Hoboken boil water advisory highlight other infrastructure issues

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Hoboken is drying out from Ida’s floodwaters, slowly but surely, as the holiday weekend approaches.

But the water coming from the tap, as of Friday night, was still deemed not safe enough to cook with or drink, triggering a mandatory boil water advisory in Hoboken and neighboring Jersey City.

Hoboken resident Cecilia Azille said she’s been living in the area long enough to know the aging infrastructure can lead to issues with or without extreme weather.

This particular boil water advisory comes as result of storm damage, not here in the city, but at the source: the Boonton Reservoir, which supplies fresh water to both Hoboken and Jersey City.

“Our very first order of business was to get that repair going, which we did successfully,” said Steve Goudsmith, a vice president as SUEZ, the company that operates the reservoir.

Goudsmith said teams Friday were in the midst of implementing a backup plan – supplying bottled water to residents.

“It’s been a monumental task to procure enough bottled water in the numbers needed for both communities,” he said. “And there are several other water systems along the Eastern Sea Board that have been affected by Ida, and they’ve had system interruptions and boil water advisories, the same as Jersey City and Hoboken.”

For residents in Hoboken, where piles of personal belongings were stacked on the corner every couple of blocks, Hoboken’s mayor is urging everyone to document their damage.

“When funding becomes available at either the state or federal level,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla, “it will become a necessary part of the application process and we want to ensure all residents and businesses and prepared and receive their fair share.”

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