Main Break Impacts Belleville, Newark–NBC New York
A 72-inch water main burst wreaks havoc in New Jersey’s largest city and nearby communities on Tuesday, with hospitals forced to divert high-risk patients and the Newark Board of Education declaring an emergency. water throughout the city.
Anthony Iacono, superintendent of nearby Belleville Township, said the pipe burst at Branch Brook Park, on the border of the two towns, around 8 a.m. This led to some initial confusion about the origin of the breakup. As of 9:15 a.m., it was still unclear whether there had been a single rupture or multiple pipes were affected.
The entirety of Belleville was without water, as was most of Newark, Iacono said. A boil water advisory is in effect for Bellevue. Several hospitals are affected and divert patients or divert water.
“With great caution, we are advising residents affected by the water main break to boil tap water until further notice. See previous posts for more information,” Belleville officials wrote on Facebook.
Belleville and Newark water utilities are working to contain the problem, officials said.
With a large majority of the area completely out of water or experiencing low pressure, the Newark Board of Education declared a “citywide water emergency” and canceled all after-school programs for the day.
Helicopter 4 showed water pooling near a bridge over Branch Brook Park Drive as vehicle backups began to build around 8:15 a.m. A river runs alongside the road, but it’s not meant to look like what it was on Tuesday. Water was seen gushing out of what appeared to be a gaping hole in the middle of the road.
A short air journey away, people were seen standing in more than ankle-deep water in Belleville near Mill Street, where Newark says the breakup happened. Low to no water pressure was reported in the northwest, south and central portions of Newark.
It was unclear when officials expected to have a timeline for a full restore or even if they had isolated and contained the issue by 9 a.m.
Newark is served by two upstream reservoirs, although it is unclear if they serve the city by separate water lines.
The investigation is ongoing.