July 18, 2019 / 9:21 PM / 4 months ago

Fort Lauderdale suffers water shortage after construction mishap

(Reuters) - Faucets in the Florida city of Fort Lauderdale began running dry on Thursday after a construction firm damaged a water main, forcing the closure of City Hall and a number of businesses on a hot summer day as officials pledged to solve the problem.

Residents of Fort Lauderdale, which is 20 miles (30 km) north of Miami, and surrounding areas risked being without water service until Friday, officials said on the city’s website.

Restaurants in the city of 180,000 people had to shutter on Thursday due to the water shortage and hotels evacuated guests, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Officials issued a boil notice for Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas served by the city’s water system, because of fears of contamination.

They later warned residents who still had working plumbing, after pipes in other parts of the city slowed to a trickle, to continue boiling their water.

“We are working as quickly as possible to restore service,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said on Twitter.

The construction firm that damaged a 42-inch (107 cm) water main on Wednesday, forcing water to be shut down so crews could repair it, was issued a citation, Trantalis told a news conference.

A representative for the city could not immediately be reached for further comment.

On Thursday afternoon, pressure began to return to the water system, the Sun Sentinel reported, citing Fort Lauderdale’s deputy city manager, Rob Ferndandez.

“We have a patch on it, and the patch is holding,” he told the newspaper.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Dan Grebler

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