NEW ORLEANS -- The deep hole left by the Orleans Parish Sewerage & Water Board in St. Peter Street outside Rau Antiques and the Gumbo Shop stunned business owner Bill Rau when he saw the damage even spreading to the sidewalk.
'I was utterly amazed. Here they are and we spent $50,000 fixing our building, and all they did was dig a hole and didn't fill it properly, and now it's actually worse. Look at our cement over here, if somebody falls on that they could sue us,' Rau said.
In January, the businesses were spending their own money for emergency stabilization of the common wall the buildings share, trying to stop subsidence from broken sewer pipes underground.
'The sewerage system was not maintained, was not even designed to support the number of hotels and restaurants that are now being serviced by it,' said Brian Molony.
Ever since the last Action Report, I've been asking the water board -- so have both businesses -- to talk about what the plans are here to repair this.
The water board isn't telling anybody anything, but now this has gone from a crisis to an emergency, a deepening emergency.
Six days later, a crew did fill the hole and put a smooth asphalt surface on the street.
'We were relieved and happy to see some progress finally, but we're still skeptical that the work is really repaired underneath the asphalt,' said Andrew Fields, who added he was 'absolutely' worried it will come back.'
Keep your fingers crossed. They are.