9W Water Main Break Leaves Part Of Fort Lee With Little Or No Water
The 30-inch main burst in Englewood Cliffs is affecting residents and businesses along Fort Lee's northern border, police said. Residents are urged to use water sparingly though some water pressure had been restored as of 5 p.m.
A 30-inch water main burst on Route 9W in Englewood Cliffs Wednesday afternoon, leaving a large portion of Fort Lee residents with little or no water pressure, police said, as United Water urged residents of Fort Lee and neighboring towns to use water for "essential purposes only."
United Water crews, along with police, fire and emergency management personnel are working to repair the break, which occurred around 1 p.m., gushing water along the highway near Hollywood Avenue, Englewood Cliffs Police Lt. Timothy Regan said.
"It's a big one, so we have no idea how long it will take to fix," Regan said.
Route 9W was shut down and several office buildings, nearby businesses and high-rise apartment complexes were without water for hours, he said, adding that the evening rush-hour commute would likely be affected.
Several companies, including Bauer Publishing with headquarters on 9W, were operating without working restrooms, and sent employees home early.
Regan said all of Englewood Cliffs and a large section of Fort Lee near the Irving Avenue border were affected by the break.
At about 3:30 p.m. United Water issued an "urgent water conservation request" urging residents of Fort Lee, Palisades Park, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Tenafly and Leonia to use water "for essential purposes only."
“The water storage tank that supplies these towns is draining rapidly,” said United Water New Jersey general manager Jim Glozzy in a statement. “It is essential that customers in these communities use water for only their basic needs until the repairs are completed. We expect that to be some time tomorrow morning.”
He also said residents may have low water pressure or no water at all, especially those who live on upper levels of high-rise buildings.
Steve Curry, fire official for Fort Lee, said eight high-rise office buildings in Fort Lee near Irving Avenue closed early Wednesday due to little or no water pressure.
The fire department's Tanker Task Force was on the scene attempting to open water valves and repair the break, he added.
Curry said he was told by United Water earlier in the day that Fort Lee's water pressure could be restored within hours, but pressure would likely not be restored to Englewood Cliffs until close to midnight.
At about 5 p.m. Curry provided an update on the situation in Fort Lee, telling Patch that the borough's north end was seeing some increase in water pressure but wasn't close to being back to normal.
"We had no pressure at some time on the north end, and they gave us minimal pressure," he said. "But we’re nowhere near normal yet in most of our buildings."
Curry added that most of the buildings vacated earlier in the day remained closed later Wednesday afternoon and would most likely stay that way until at least midnight.
"We intend to re-evaluate probably around midnight tonight when United Water said they might have a better fix on things," Curry said late Wednesday afternoon. "And then we'll decide for those buildings in the morning before their opening times."
The Borough of Fort Lee at 5:17 p.m. Wednesday issued a notification via its Nixle Alert Notification System notifying residents of the water main break and resulting low water pressure and said the repairs "may go through the night."
Please continue to check Fort Lee Patch for updates.