PORT ORANGE, Fla. —It’s not exactly an emergency, but it’s an inconvenience at Halifax Health’s 80-bed Port Orange facility where engineers have shut down anything that uses city water including drinking fountains and ice machines.
“Any kind of water we would give to our patients has to be brought in,” said Halifax Hospital Spokesperson Jerri Sills. “So we’re just replacing everything with bottled water. We brought in extra sodas, extra juices.”
Eleven area schools that are affected, like Sweetwater Elementary, have turned off the drinking fountains. The district has provided dozens of 5-gallon water cooler bottles to hydrate the kids, but its area restaurants and hotels that are more concerned about running dry.
“The guests that are checking in, we’ll notify them as they’re checking in,” said Holiday Inn Express Spokesman Chris Cisiega.
At the beach-side Holiday Inn Express, where it’s a packed house for bike week, they’re alerting customers and posting signs throughout the property.
“This is the worst time that it could happen,” Cisiega said.
Over at Crabby Joe’s on the Sunglow Pier, Luke Zona, the manager, has spent hundreds of dollars in profit ordering from vendors instead of boiling the water.
“It’s the middle of bike week,” Zona said. “It’s a real hassle for us.”
Restaurants catering to bigger than normal crowds because of Bike Week did their best to accommodate the customers.
“We figured it’s easier and better to boil, and this way were not going to run out,” said worker Phyllis Dessoie.
Workers doing construction struck the line near Nova Road and Herbert Street. The boil-water alert is affecting 70,000 businesses and homes, according to officials.
“I guess we are going to be doing this for about 48 hours,” business owner Julie Mailki said. “We have to boil the water of everything we use.”
Authorities said all 11 schools in Port Orange are affected by the water main break. School officials said they’ll cover water fountains and bring in water for students.
“They are going to be bringing free water bottles to the school,” student Madison Rutledge said.
Water in the school kitchens is always boiled so there will be no issues with the school lunches, officials said.
Residents are strongly encouraged to bring cooking or drinking water to a rolling boil for one minute before use. Bottled water may be used as an alternative.
Currently, water pressure is restored. When testing has been completed, a rescinding notice will be released and normal water usage can resume.