Lakeshore water main break patched, giant hole filled in - but will it last?

Topaz Street water main break update

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Homeowners in a Lakeshore neighborhood worry that the Sewerage and Water Board is only patching what they believe is a massive water line problem. One main broke in two spots over the weekend, causing a huge hole.

S&WB crews spent part of Tuesday morning (April 16) filling a hole with sand in the 700 block of Topaz Street. On Friday, a 12-inch water main broke, causing the ground to collapse.

"They're pretty overwhelmed at it,” said resident Ann Dwyer. “I did ask on a severity level between one and 10, what are we looking at? And without any hesitation, the gentleman over the project on Saturday looked at me and said, ‘10.’"

Saturday morning, some residents woke up without water, power and with a growing hole in their front yard.

"(They were) just about fixing up, remedying the situation at hand, and then another main blew further over into our yard," Dwyer said.

"After they finally put the 40-foot pipe in place and they had put all the plants on to open up water to each of the houses that were lacking water at this point, they were just about to turn my water on, and the next pipe blew,” said resident Leslie Kramer.

And that created a bigger mess.

"There was such force of water that it was literally hitting my house and blew out another 10-foot section of ground," Kramer said.

Kramer said she worried about the safety of some of the workers trying to fix the break.

"They had to pull him out and his boots stayed in the hole, but they got him out of the water," she said.

She said after crews repaired the pipe in front of her house six years ago, she ended up footing the bill.

"The first time it happened to me, it cost me almost $10,000 to replace the subsurface drains of the property,” Kramer said. “This time, my whole sprinkler system's out, plus my garden went in the hole."

“You know, the whole infrastructure is so antiquated, you don’t really know what to expect, I guess, throughout the whole city, for that matter, but I’ll be glad once it is filled up, packed in,” Dwyer said.

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