Car swallowed by sinkhole in Newark as water pipe burst leaves town without running water
A massive water main breach wreaked havoc in several New Jersey towns, leaving tens of thousands of residents — and a local trauma hospital — without running water, causing at least one car-swallowing sinkhole.
Water gushed for hours from the 72-inch, 140-year-old pipe that broke around 8 a.m. Tuesday in Branch Brook Park on the border of Newark and neighboring Belleville.
At one point in the day, a sinkhole opened, swallowing an entire vehicle. Only a tire could stick out of the water. The driver said: NBC that she saw water bubbling up in front of her in the street and quickly escaped from her car. She was not injured.
The water emergency forced the city of Newark to cancel summer school and prompted some area hospitals to divert patients as local residents and businesses were urged to conserve water.
As a precaution for residents of Newark and Belleville, the water boiling recommendations are in effect until further notice. The situation will be re-evaluated on Wednesday morning.
A massive water main burst wreaked havoc in several New Jersey towns, leaving thousands of residents without running water, and causing at least one car-swallowing sinkhole (pictured)
The water main burst came amid the most recent heat wave that had already led to a Newark code red declaration – which had opened emergency shelters
Complimentary bottles of mineral water were handed out in Belleville late Tuesday night with a limit of one crate per family and proof of residence in Belleville
Belleville Mayor Michael Melham posts video of a sinkhole that opened after the water main burst and swallowed an entire vehicle. Only a tire can stick out of the water
About 100,000 people were affected in Newark alone, according to Kareem Adeem, director of the Newark Department of Water and Sewer Utilities.
“Most of the infrastructure in the Northeast includes Newark. Newark is the nation’s third-oldest major city and may have infrastructure dating back to before Abe Lincoln was president,” Adeem said.
Newark, along with the nearby city of Belleville, were without water, or were restricted, on Tuesday, officials said, and the advice to boil water is in effect for both communities.
A video posted to Facebook by Belleville Mayor Michael Melham shows water flowing from the water mains as a sinkhole swallows a vehicle.
Anthony Iacono, the Belleville township manager, told Gothamist, “It literally absorbed the entire vehicle.”
Posted on Facebook by Belleville Mayor Michael Melham, water can be seen gushing from the hydrocephalus fracture as a sinkhole swallows a vehicle
Several hospitals in the region were forced to divert patients and officials suggested residents not come to the hospital for non-emergency issues.
University Hospital, Newark’s largest hospital and the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region, implemented emergency water conservation and activated the Emergency Command Center. Visitors were restricted and all elective procedures were cancelled.
“Until normal water activities resume, the community should not come to the hospital for non-emergency issues,” hospital officials said. “University Hospital is always there to serve the health care needs of the community, and we appreciate everyone’s patience during this temporary water emergency.”
In Belleville, bottled water with a limit of one box per family and proof of residence in Belleville was distributed until late Tuesday evening until late evening.
Newark city workers handed out more than 7,000 cases to residents, even going door to door in the stifling heat, CBS News reported.
Belleville Mayor Michael Melham posts videos of vehicles queuing to receive cases of water after a water main burst with the caption: Our DPW intensifies, as always during a crisis!
Newark officials reported that there appear to have been two breaks, the first at Branch Brook Park on Mill Street and a secondary break on Joralemon Street, both in Belleville, according to NBC4.
Utility officials identified six problematic valves, and they were all closed by early afternoon, the outlet reported.
The water main burst came amid the most recent heat wave that had already led to a code red declaration from Newark – which had opened emergency shelters to provide residents with overnight shelter.
NO WATER, NOW WHAT? HOW TO WORK WITHOUT WALKING WATER
The City of Newark has issued a cooking advice until further notice after a water pipe burst on Tuesday.
Customers in the affected service area are instructed to boil tap water for one minute and allow tap water to cool before using, or use bottled water.
Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking; preparing food; mixing baby food, food, juices or drinks; washing fruits and vegetables; To cook; make ice cream; toothbrushing; and washing dishes. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.
Other measures to take during a water emergency:
- Discard uncooked food, drinks or ice cubes made with tap water during the day of the Boiling Water Advice.
- Store boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking and cooking.
- Use boiled water when preparing drinks, such as coffee, tea and lemonade.
- Do not swallow water while showering or bathing. Be careful when washing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chances of them swallowing water.
- Rinse hand-washed dishes with a diluted bleach solution (a tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water) or clean your dishes in a dishwasher using the warm wash and dry cycle.
- Do not use home filter devices in place of boiling or bottled water. Most home water filters do not provide adequate protection against microorganisms.
- Wash food preparation surfaces with boiled water.
- Prepare powdered or concentrated baby food with bottled water. Use boiled water if you don’t have bottled water.
- Only use boiled water to treat minor injuries.
- Provide pets with boiled (and cooled) drinking water.