FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – More than 220,000 customers who get their water from the city of Fort Lauderdale are under a boil water notice and have been told their taps may run dry after a major water main break.
Florida Communications Concepts, a subcontractor of FPL, damaged a 42-inch water line at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport during an overnight repair of line. In order to repair the water main, crews have to shut off the water.
Fort Lauderdale sent out emergency alerts via texts to let businesses and residents know what was going on.
The city is using its reserves, but the taps are expected to run dry later today.
Broward residents were asked to limit their water service and turn off irrigation systems.
“We were notified to please conserve water,” said Daniel McConnell, manager of Lester’s Diner.
So the diner did just that.
“We asked for coffee and a water and she was like well we can’t really give you water right now because all the water in Fort Lauderdale is shut off,” said one customer.
And when the water runs out?
“We close,” said McConnell. “You can’t run a restaurant without water.”
Residents and businesses in Fort Lauderdale and neighboring cities should be prepared to be without water for 24 hours to 36 hours. Areas impacted include Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Oakland Park, Village of Sea Ranch Lakes, Wilton Manors, sections of Davie and Tamarac, and the Port Everglades Authority.
The Galleria Mall closed at 10 a.m. because its air conditioning system requires water, according to general manager Mark Trouba.
The Broward Courthouse closed at noon.
Many hotels have evacuated their guests as a safety measure because they feared there wouldn’t be enough for their fire sprinkler systems.
Broward Health Medical Center remains open.
“We are aware of the Fort Lauderdale water outage. At this time, all hospitals and urgent care centers remain open. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available,” said Broward Health Medical Center said in a statement.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis spoke with Governor Ron DeSantis Thursday morning who offered assistance, the state is sending 70,000 gallons of bottled water.
Meanwhile, people have been grabbing water as quickly as stores can stock it.
“I got enough here to hold us over for at least a week,” said Brian Cohen.
The city will be handing out bottled water to those who need it at three locations:
Beach Community Center
3351 NE 33rd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Mills Pond Park
2201 NW 9th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
555 SW 11th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
For more information call the City of Fort Lauderdale 24-Hour Neighbor Service Center at (954) 828-8000.