FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Tens of thousands of residents in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding cities were warned Thursday they may be without water for at least 24 hours after a contractor hit a water main during construction.
City officials said more than 220,000 customers could be affected, issuing a boil-water order while warning that taps could run dry. The boil water order is in effect for 48 hours.
The outage affects residents in cities that get drinking water from Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale officials declared a state of emergency and Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will send two trucks of water.
The outage affected hospitals, hotels, courthouses, a jail and restaurants as well as high-rise buildings in the area. Hotels evacuated guests, government buildings and private companies sent employees home and some events were canceled.
The Broward County Courthouse closed earlier. A number of businesses also closed, including the Galleria Mall.
Authorities said Thursday evening they had installed a partial patch, causing water pressure to increase. Mayor Dean Trantalis said water began flowing again, but it had not been fully restored.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue said the city has tanker trucks of water and sought help from neighboring cities that have water to assist in fighting fires.