The residents of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, could be without water service until Friday morning, thanks to a water main break, according to a news release from the city.
The service outage will also impact surrounding municipalities that receive their water through the city, including Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors and sections of Davie and Tamarac, according to the city’s Twitter page.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said in a news conference that a 42-inch water main was damaged Wednesday by a subcontractor working to repair electric lines near the city’s Executive Airport for Florida Power & Light.
Crews responded immediately, but as they were working, the damaged pipe collapsed, forcing the city to turn off the water flow, Trantalis said.
“City crews are working as fast as they can to restore service,” Trantalis said. “If everything goes well, we could have service restored by this evening.”
The water main delivered water from the city’s wellfields to the Fiveash Water Treatment Plant, the mayor said.
Another water treatment plant is still producing water but at a much lower capacity with a limited ability to serve the city and its residents, Deputy City Manager Rob Hernandez told reporters.
An estimated 220,000 customers are impacted, per Hernandez.
Officials are working simultaneously on three different solutions to restore water service, the mayor added, but city officials want residents to be prepared.
Emergency procedures have been set up in the meantime, Trantalis said, and there are three set locations for residents in need to receive bottled water: the Beach Community Center on 33rd Avenue, Mills Pond Park on Northwest 9th Avenue and Riverland Park on Southwest 11th Avenue.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Twitter that his office is offering any assistance that the city needs.
City of Fort Lauderdale spokesman Chaz Adams told CNN that some residents may still have water because of the water that remained in the system at the time the flow was turned off.
A boil water advisory has been put in place and will remain so until water service has been fully restored and bacteriological testing can be done, Adams said.