FOX 8 Defenders tackle potholes, missing manhole cover

This is the monster pot hole in the 1700 block of Washington Avenue.
This is the monster pot hole in the 1700 block of Washington Avenue.

Many drivers in New Orleans dodge potholes, but there's a couple of problem spots and a missing manhole cover that captured the attention of the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women.

Two blocks off of St. Charles Avenue in the 1700 block of Washington Ave., John Burke is busy restoring a large, 100-year-old home. He's transforming it into condos. For the past six months, he says they've battled a mess in front of the home in the street. "The water leaks from the underground pipe and it never dries up, so it continues to leak and you can empty it, and then you can watch the hole fill back up with water," said Burke.

Homeowners worry it's going to take out a car or a tire. "It's very dangerous," said Burke.  First, homeowners filled it with political signs to warn drivers. Now, they're using plywood. "It's our makeshift bridge over troubled water on Washington Avenue," explained Burke. The Sewerage and Water Board tells FOX 8 it's scheduled to be repaired Monday, February 24th.

Off Washington Ave. and near Claiborne in the 3100 block of Third Street, drivers dodge another large hole. Homeowner Charles Daniels measured the massive pothole in the middle of the street, and it measure eight feet wide and several inches deep.

"Imagine with the speed they hit that hole and if a kid right there. they gonna run over a kid," said Daniels. He told FOX 8 he's called the Sewerage and Water Board and the City of New Orleans for help, but can't get action. The FOX 8 Defenders reported it to the city, which investigated the problem and determined it falls under the jurisdiction of the Sewerage and Water Board.

In Mid-City, on Euphrosine at South White St. a manhole has been exposed for years, since 2006. "We're talking a manhole that a man can fall into," said Tariq Hanna, chef/ partner at Sucre, one of several businesses along Euphrosine. The open manhole is at the foot of Sucre's parking lot. Hanna tells FOX 8 it's their busy season, cranking out kingcakes, and some days the open manhole gets in the way of business.  "Everything that we do at Sucre comes right out of this building so between delivering to our stores two to three times a day.. two stores.. so now you're talking six runs.. in and out.. our vehicles have been victim to the hole," he said.

On Thursday, the FOX 8 Defenders exposed the open manhole for the second time since November. A spokesperson for the City of New Orleans told FOX 8 the Department of Public Works would start repair work on Monday, but on Friday, we found crews installing a brand-new manhole casting. That's the part that holds the actual lid, and then they added a new manhole cover. Hanna and other passing drivers were elated the problem has been repaired.

If you have a consumer complaint, call the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women at 1-877-670-6397.

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