Water line break floods popular Bourbon Street bar

Updated: Dec. 29, 2018 at 10:51 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A popular Bourbon Street bar had a wet mess to deal with today.

It was literally pouring inside Cat's Meow, the result of a Sewerage and Water Board mishap right outside the building.

A huge hole in the street at St. Peter near Bourbon St. has been a common sight since 2014.

"That hole has been growing and growing," says David Punch, the entertainment director at the bar. "Workers come by and they asphalt it, fill it with dirt and it sinks again. It's just been continuous."

So when the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board came out again today to continue repairs, it seemed like more of the same, until just after noon.

Something clearly went wrong with the huge line they were working on.


New Orleans sewer and water board at its best.

Posted by David Punch on Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Water shot from the street over the second story roof, over and into our courtyard. It tore some shingles along the way and flooded our upstairs bar. The carpet was soaked. It started raining down stairs into the bar area," says Punch

He couldn't believe his eyes.

"We stood inside as water and bricks just pounded the building and glass and we just watched it flood in," Punch says.

On the start of the busy New Year's Eve weekend, it was raining inside the bar.

"Thankfully, honesty because of Katrina, we had a huge tarp in our DJ booth because we dealt with the same thing," says Punch. "We had water damage from Katrina and we covered the booth, so we bought a second tarp and this is the first time we opened it."

Luckily the bar hadn't opened yet because the water inside was turned off due to the repair work outside.

The Cat’s Meow crew started cleaning up and drying out right away, hoping to get its share of holiday tourism dollars.

"We got sound, we got microphones, we're ready for business," Punch says.

The Sewerage and Water Board issued the following statement after the water main break:

"On Saturday, Dec. 29, Sewerage and Water Board crews had been working on various locations in the French Quarter when they were alerted about a section of failed water main serving Cat’s Meow, causing the spewing of water on Bourbon and St. Peter streets.

Our Networks crews were on site and responded immediately, stabilizing the situation and repairing the connection to the service line and temporarily restoring water service to Cat's Meow without disrupting water services to other area businesses and residents. The Networks team had the difficult task of working with a highly pressured line, which supplies much of the French Quarter.

We remained in close contact with the management of the establishment and water was fully restored to the property at 6:34 p.m. ensuring they could open their doors to Saturday night crowds during one of their busiest weekends of the year. Our crews will continue to coordinate to find an optimal time to come back and make a permanent repair.-Ghassan Korban, Executive Director of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board."

Cat’s Meow finally opened around 7:00 pm Saturday evening.

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