Nearly 100 year old water main breaks near Yulman Stadium


Jade Myers

Maroon File Photo.

Andres Fuentes and Jade Myers

Emily Ramier didn’t expect to find her Jeep Wrangler half submerged in water this morning. Instead of preparing for exams, the Tulane grad student now worries about whether her vehicle can run or not.

The gushing waters engulfed parts of Uptown after a water main broke near South Johnson and Calhoun Streets.

A boil water alert has been called for the affected area:

Properties along Calhoun and Palmer Avenue between South Claiborne Avenue and Story Street, including the dead-end blocks of South Johnson, South Prieur and Barret Street.

Properties between South Claiborne, Audubon Boulevard, Hickory and Lowerline streets.

Photo credit: Sewerage and Water Board

Ramier said her roommate heard the break around 1:30 a.m. After calls to New Orleans police and no answer from the Sewerage and Water Board, she feels frustrated.

“Have a better response system in place, if you’re not going to take calls to 911 in the middle of the night. Have some sort of response system set up where you can take 24 hour calls,” she said.

According to the utility’s website, the pipes were installed in the area between 1920-39. The early morning burst caused officials to close one lane of traffic on South Claiborne Avenue while crews worked on unclogging drains.

The break impacted Robert Bradley’s commute to his final exam this morning. The Tulane law student was shocked when woke up.

“It kind of surprised me that there was an entire canal on my way getting to school,” he said. “As far as shrimping boots I have them, I just never figured I would use them here.”

The Slidell native had to take a longer route to campus, which cut into his prep time before his test.

Tulane junior Ellie Vincent wishes that such breaks could be prevented. Just this year, a water main broke near South Claiborne Avenue and Soniat Street in May and another ruptured in October near Panola and Adams Streets.

Vincent said, “I hope the pipes systems are better because of all the rain that we get here and to prevent flooding during hurricanes and stuff.”

Tulane student Marco Fisher feels such water issues are something to expect from living in the city.

“Every time it floods, it makes commuting that much more of a pain, but that’s New Orleans,” Fisher said. “How can you prepare? It’s not supposed to happen. Its like preparing for the unexpected. I guess, get some rain boots or gouaches and start walking.”