July 18 (UPI) -- Water is again flowing in Fort Lauderdale after a contractor broke a water main leaving tens of thousands of residents without the utility, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said.
"Water is now flowing ... albeit at a lower pressure than normal ... and should be back to near normal sometime this evening," Trantalis said Thursday in a statement published on Facebook.
The contractor was doing construction work Wednesday near the airport when the 42-inch water main that supplies raw water to the water treatment plant broke, a city statement including a boil water advisory said. To repair the line, water supply has been shut down.
On Thursday, Trantalis said the broken main was partially patched and a concrete bunker was in the processing of being constructed around the fracture to seal the break.
"It will protect the patch and shore the pipe up from any breaks," he said, adding that the bunker should be completed that night, allowing for the plant to return to normal operation.
"This will give us time to work on a permeant repair, which will entail redirecting the water flow to a backup line," he said.
And while water is again flowing, a boil water advisory remains in effect for the next 48 hours, he said.
Trantalis had said at a news conference earlier that the subcontractor had been working to repair electric lines near the airport for Florida Power and Light when the break occurred. Though crews immediately responded, the pipe collapsed, forcing the city to turn off the water supply.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Twitter that he would offer assistance to Fort Lauderdale and Broward County and the Florida Division of Emergency Services is sending bottled water to the area.