Scotch Plains Water Main Break Impacting Area Flow
Water to be restored by late afternoon.
An early morning water main break on Portland and Birch left many Scotch Plains residents without water this morning, and has New Jersey American Water telling Warren residents to expect low pressure as repairs are underway.
One resident spoke with New Jersey American Water shortly after 5 a.m. Representatives of NJAW at that time said that repairs would be completed by 4 p.m.
After 7:30 a.m., the Fire Department was reporting that the water was "secured" and that they were successfully pumping water from basements. The Fire Dept. was requesting that the gas company evaluate gas lines at that time.
Other residents said that helicopters were circling after 7 a.m. Images of the surging waters from the break are showing up on New York television news outlets like NBC.
Patch will be updating this story.
Update 11:00 a.m.
Patch.com spoke to Peter Eschbach, director of communications and external affairs at New Jersey American Water, who is on site at the water main break.
Eschbach confirmed a 48 in. concrete transmission pipe running down Portland Avenue ruptured around 4 a.m. this morning. The pipe was installed in the 1970s, he said.
He said houses are not directly connected to the pipe, but rather it provided water to other smaller pipes that connect to residents’ homes.
NJAW turned off water to the pipe this morning to isolate the break. They are currently in the process of pumping out the hole caused by the break with multiple pumps so workers can investigate the cause of the rupture and work to fix it.
This process could take around 24 hours to complete, Eshbach said, but it is difficult at this time to estimate exactly.
“We’re talking hours though,” he said.
Eschbach said no residents, as far as he knows, are without water in Scotch Plains. He said, however, residents may experience low pressure for the time being, since NJAW have rerouted water to homes.
NJAW contractors are currently on the scene pumping water from flooded homes and St. Bartholomew Academy. Eschbach said they are working with Scotch Plains police to prevent fraudulent contractors from entering residents’ homes.
“The good news is we’re not on a main community artery, and the other good news is it’s not 95 degrees and 100 percent humidity,” he said.
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