Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said in a press conference that a 42-inch water pipe was damaged Wednesday by a subcontractor working to power electrical lines near the city's executive airport for Florida Power & Light repairing As they worked, the damaged pipe collapsed, forcing the city to shut off the water flow, Trantalis said.
"City teams work as fast as they can to restore service," Trantalis said. "If all goes well, we could restore the service by tonight."
The water pipeline supplied water from the city's well fields to the Fiveash water treatment plant, said the mayor.
Another water treatment plant still produces water, but has a much lower capacity and can serve the city and its inhabitants only to a limited extent, said Deputy City Administrator Rob Hernandez told reporters.
An estimated 220,000 customers are affected per Hernandez.
Officials are simultaneously working on three different solutions to restore the water supply, the mayor added.
In the meantime, emergency procedures have been established, Trantalis said, and there are three designated locations where the residents would have to receive bottled water: the Beach Community Center on 33rd Avenue, Mills Pond Park on Northwest 9th Avenue and the Riverland Park at Southwest 1
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Twitter that his office offers all the support the city needs.
Fort Lauderdale spokesman, Chaz Adams, told CNN that some residents may still have water because the water remained in the system at the time the power was turned off.
A suggestion has been introduced for boiling water that will last until the water supply is fully restored and bacteriological testing can be performed, Adams said.