Fort Lauderdale water main break threatens to leave more than 100,000 dry

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More than 100,000 residents in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding areas are expected to be without running water potentially into Friday following a water main break that is disrupting businesses and forcing some hotels to evacuate, reports say.

The popular Florida tourist destination — which has a population of more than 180,000 — announced this morning that “residents and businesses… and neighboring cities that receive their water from Fort Lauderdale should be prepared to be without water service for up to 24 hours.”

The city, in a statement on its website, said a contractor doing work near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport damaged a 42-inch water main last night. Repairs on the main are now ongoing.

Service was shut off beginning 7 a.m. Thursday and the outage is expected to last about 24 hours, the city added. Temperatures there are forecast to be in the high 80’s with over 65 percent humidity Thursday and Friday.

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The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that some area hotels are evacuating for precautionary reasons as sprinklers cannot operate without water pressure.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state’s Division of Emergency Management is delivering bottled water to the area until the main is fixed and that officials will “monitor this situation closely.”

The outage also affects several cities that get their water from Fort Lauderdale, including Port Everglades, Oakland Park, Davie, Lauderdale-by-the-sea, Sea Ranch Lakes, Tarmac and Wilton Manors, the city posted on Twitter.

“I think right now we just need to get the hole plugged,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said. “When it comes to the cause and who’s responsible we will definitely follow up on that.”

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Officials explained the reason why one main break could shut down the entire city’s water supply is that the system is outdated and relies on a single line for its source.

“As we proceed forward in the months and years ahead we are looking to improve our infrastructure,” Trantalis said.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 

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