Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- The parking lot pavement in front of a long-closed Annunciation Street grocery store is damp from the drizzle, but the good news for neighbors is that it is no longer flooded.

The leak that was here is repaired.

'I was extremely happy, because it was right before Mardi Gras, and here we are, that was a neighborhood eyesore,' said neighbor David Baird. 'It really was a real pain in the neck.'

This is the pain in the neck. For weeks, water poured out of a drain clean-out box, flooding a large section of the parking lot and pouring down a nearby drain.

The grocery store had been closed since Hurricane Katrina. There were no water meters on the site, so the only pipes that could have broken were those belonging to the Orleans Parish Sewerage & Water Board.

'With everything that costs money in the city, here we are wasting water, and my water pressure was lower here, by at least a factor of 30 percent,' said Baird.

Boy, the Sewerage & Water Board really didn't want to hear from me about this situation. You see the big fear they had was that they would have to dig up a large chunk of this parking lot to find where the broken pipe was leaking somewhere under the cement.

I pointed out though that pressure was dropping in the area, and they just couldn't ignore this problem. They knew it, and they found a solution.

Instead of a big and expensive search, they dug a small hole at the sidewalk to reach the main pipe, installed a cut-off valve there, and turned off the water.

Presto: leak fixed.

'I'm extremely happy because I've got my water pressure back in my house now, and it's all systems go,' Baird said.

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