HOBOKEN, N.J. (PIX11) – Many Hoboken residents were still without water Tuesday night after a water main broke on Monday, but officials say progress is being made.
Veolia announced it has isolated the ruptured main, but repairs will be continuing overnight. Some residents should begin to see water return and water pressure increase as the night goes on, according to Veolia.
“We’re very cautiously optimistic that we can restore water to the residents of Hoboken as the night goes on and into the morning,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said Tuesday evening.
Rolling water turned parts of Observer Highway near Madison Street into a stream during much of Tuesday. Officials say a PSE&G contractor caused the water main break while working on a gas line Monday.
“We are very upset about this situation. I’m very upset about this situation,” said Bhalla. “You have my word and the residents of Hoboken have my word that the people or persons responsible for this water main break will be held responsible.”
According to PSE&G, the water pipe was either unmarked or marked incorrectly. Hoboken’s Office of Emergency Management chief said a separate company is responsible for marking the pipes before contractors dig.
In the meantime, the City of Hoboken is acting to help the most vulnerable. There are 17 water stations across the city, officials said.
Many residents have yet to take a hot shower since the break happened around mid-day Monday.
“We basically have no water,” said resident Ron Rosenberg. “We have not had water since yesterday. Many of us have left the building, particularly those with small children.”
The water main break even forced Hoboken University Medical Center to evacuate. The hospital was able to discharge some patients, reschedule elective surgery for others and transfer everyone else to nearby facilities.
“We made the decision out of an abundance of caution really due to infrastructure needs of the hospital, which require water pressure on our upper floors to maintain fire suppression systems and OR sterility systems,” said Dr. John Rimmer, the CMO of CarePoint Health System.
The hospital expected to transfer roughly 40 to 50 patients out of the hospital overnight and into Wednesday morning.