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Water service restored to all customers in Fort Lauderdale following widespread outage

Crews working on long-term fix to water main break
Posted: 6:48 AM, Jul 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-19 18:50:10-04
WPTV-FTL-WATER-MAIN-BREAK.jpg

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The city of Fort Lauderdale said Friday afternoon that water service has been restored to all customers after a Palm Beach County company struck a 42-inch water main earlier this week, causing a massive water outage.

The entire city remains under a boil water notice, however, until further notice.

City officials said late Thursday a short-term fix has been made to restore water, but residents may still lose service as crews work on long-term repairs.

HOTELS FILL UP IN PALM BEACH COUNTY

The water outage led many people to head north into Palm Beach County after hotels in Fort Lauderdale were evacuated over safety concerns.

The Waterstone Hotel in Boca Raton said the situation caused all of their rooms to be sold out Thursday night, and they're running at very high occupancy on Friday.

One couple told WPTV they tried to stay at the Waterstone after their reservation at the Ritz Carlton in Fort Lauderdale was canceled. The Waterstone was already sold out as well, so they headed to a hotel in Delray Beach.

LATEST ON THE WATER MAIN BREAK

At a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Dean Trantalis declared a state of emergency, which allowed the city to obtain much-needed equipment, materials, and supplies like bottled water.

🔽 WATCH MAYOR'S NEWS CONFERENCE 🔽

According to police, subcontractor Florida Communication Concepts was doing construction work at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when it damaged the water main, which supplies raw water from the city’s wellfields into the Fiveash Water Treatment Plant.

Mayor Trantalis said crews are working around the clock on a long-term fix.

Bottled water is now being given out at the following locations:

  • Beach Community Center - 3351 NE 33rd Ave., Fort Lauderdale
  • Mills Pond Park/Gold Coast Ski Club - 2201 NW 9th Ave., Fort Lauderdale
  • Riverland Park - 950 SW 27th Ave., Fort Lauderdale

On Friday, cars inched along inside Mills Pond Park. Drivers waited patiently as city employees handed out free cases of water for a second day.

"I’m stocking up because you have to boil the water," said Shelly Weinrib, who lives in Wilton Manors. "I’m using the water for my waterpik and toothbrushes."

The city and businesses like 925 Nuevo’s Cubanos are bouncing back after water was cut off Thursday.

"Without water we can’t run the business," said Alan Navarro, who works at the restaurant. "I thought it was going to be a whole 24 hour ordeal like they said, but it did come back pretty fast."

All Broward County parks that were closed due to the water main break will be open Saturday, except for Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park, which will be open for water distribution only.

Other cities and communities that were affected by the outage included Port Everglades, Oakland Park, Lauderdale By-The-Sea, Sea Ranch Lakes, and Wilton Manors, as well as sections of Tamarac and Davie.

Florida Atlantic University said classes at its Fort Lauderdale campus resumed normal operations on Friday.

In addition, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue said the city has tanker trucks of water and will seek help from neighboring cities to assist in fighting fires.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue confirms it sent a water tender vehicle and administrative staff to assist Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.

For more information, please call the City of Fort Lauderdale 24-Hour Neighbor Service Center at 954-828-8000.

WPTV and the Associated Press contributed to this report.