SUV swallowed up when Hoboken water main breaks, floods streets

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Kemberly Richardson has the latest details.

Crews are working to repair a large water main break that flooded a section of Hoboken, New Jersey, Tuesday.

The break happened on a 12-inch main sometime before 4 a.m. at the intersection of 5th Street and Willow Avenue, swallowing cars and washing out several blocks.
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NewsCopter 7's John del Giorno is over the scene.

5th Street remains shut down from Park Avenue to Clinton Street, and Willow Avenue and Clinton Street are closed between 6th Street and 4th Street.

Suez Water worked to isolate the broken main, which was removed around noontime, and service has been restored to customers in the affected area.

The break happened under a parked vehicle, and as the hole grew bigger, the car became completely submerged.

Owner Cara Rogerino said her Honda CRV survived Superstorm Sandy, but it was no match for the sinkhole.

"When I got there, it was already on an incline, so I couldn't actually move it," she said. "They tried to tow it, and I stayed for a couple hours watching it slowly sink, and then it slowly went under...I didn't really think it'd be totaled at first, and then one of the police officers was like, "Yeah, it's pretty much done.'"

Other cars were moved out of danger.

"When I looked out the window, there was a lake here," said Father Alexander Santour, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church, who believes main breaks happen so frequently in Hoboken because the city is neglecting to address the aging underground infrastructure. "We have a mayor who's more worried about bike lanes than she is about all these issues, and they're supposed to have more pumps in town. They don't have all those pumps. I really think it's dereliction on the part of the administration."

NJ Transit buses are detouring along Washington Street as a result of the street closures.

Hoboken officials stressed a boil water advisory is not in effect, but pressure may be lower than normal as repairs continue.

"It's a meticulous process that takes time," Suez Water's Treva Spencer said "We want to make sure were getting everything that needs to be repaired or replaced."

There is no indication or timetable on how long it will take to get things patched up and back to normal.

Related Topics:
water main breakHoboken
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