Some tourists in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are being evacuated from their hotels after a water main break threatened an area water outage.
People in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding cities were warned they may be without water for at least 24 hours after a contractor hit a water main during construction.
Mike Cobelo, the director of communications at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, told USA TODAY impacted hotels are evacuating guests “in an abundance of caution due to the temporary loss of water pressure in their fire sprinkler systems.”
The W Fort Lauderdale hotel, which has 329 rooms, confirmed guests were evacuated and the property is following the city’s updates.
“We have made the determination to relocate guests to alternate accommodations, and we are working diligently to make these arrangements and to assist our guests,” Anna MacDiarmid, general manager at the W Fort Lauderdale, told USA TODAY in an email.
“As always, we are in close contact with local authorities and will take guidance and direction from them as the situation warrants. Though this situation is beyond our immediate control, we sincerely regret any inconvenience to our guests.”
Irene Spivak, a Hilton spokesperson, told USA TODAY: “Our immediate priority is the comfort, safety and security of our guests. We are doing everything we can to minimize the effect on them.”
John Rainone was staying at the Ritz-Carlton when the water main break occurred. He tweeted he was bused to a hotel 45 minutes away in Key Biscayne. USA TODAY has reached out to the Ritz-Carlton for details.
Nearby, the Boca Raton Resort offered travelers impacted by the water break a discount.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport receives its water from the city of Hollywood, which is south of the airport, and therefore it was not affected by the water main break, according to public information officer Greg Meyer.
City officials issued a boil-water order Thursday and said taps could run dry within hours. The boil water order is in effect for 48 hours.
Fort Lauderdale officials declared a state of emergency and Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will send two trucks of water.
“Port Everglades (a seaport in Fort Lauderdale) has notified its customers about the City of Fort Lauderdale’s water main break and the need to boil water,” Ellen Kennedy, a spokesperson for Broward County, Florida, told USA TODAY. “The Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue activated its emergency fire suppression plan this morning, which uses ocean water as the main water source. BSO exercises this plan regularly. All ship agents – cruise, cargo, petroleum and cement – have been notified that they should seek alternative potable water sources.”
Further details here: Fort Lauderdale braces for long run without water after main break
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Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY; Associated Press
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