Families in one South Jersey town are cooking more than just their turkeys this Thanksgiving.
A water main break and resulting sinkhole, which swallowed up a police cruiser, has forced officials to issue a boil water advisory.
As many as 75 residents in Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County, N.J. lost water after the main burst around 4 a.m. Thursday at 9th Terrace and Beethoven Avenue, officials said. Businesses like the local Wawa also were without water.
The leaking water caused a sinkhole -- 6 feet wide and 4 feet deep -- to open up in the street. Two police officers responded to the break and one accidentally drove their cruiser into the hole causing slight damage to the front end, officials said. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Crews were able to restore the water by the afternoon, but contamination concerns prompted officials to advise everyone to boil their water before using it.
"Our mayor put out a reverse 911 call to the residents and then we had one of our public works guys go house to house alerting everyone," Jerry Gleason of Egg Harbor City Public Utilities.
Despite the inconvenience, several residents didn't let the lack of water derail their Thanksgiving traditions.
Joanne Geisenhoffer, who is preparing holiday dinner for 28 people, sent her husband and the turkey out the door before cooking the bird.
"My husband took it to his mother's house, washed it out, brought it back in a bag and I threw it in the oven," she said. "But I'm only making the turkey, the ham and the stuffing."
She set up a large cooler full of clean, bottled water to be used for cooking and hand washing.
Public works officials say the water will be tested to ensure its free of bacteria, but those tests may not come back until Tuesday because of the holiday.
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