Atlanta water main break causes major delays, closures

Atlanta officials slowly shut down the city’s water system Saturday after corroded water pipes burst in downtown and midtown, forcing many businesses and attractions to close and affecting water service to area homes.

The city provided water and set up portable toilets at several fire stations, while first responders checked high-rises to see if elderly or other vulnerable residents were OK.

“Water is a valuable, critical resource and cities cannot function and life cannot function without it,” Mayor Andre Dickens said at a press conference Saturday morning. “It’s absolutely at the top of our list.”

At a second press conference Saturday evening, Dickens said he had declared a state of emergency because of the situation. The mayor said that while crews had made significant progress on the first water main repair, they were struggling to get a second break in Midtown.

“We’re still talking about the second major delay … the repairs there have been a little more difficult for a number of reasons … we don’t have a timeline for that work yet,” Dickens said.

And in a statement late Saturday night, the mayor’s office said crews had “completed several rounds of repair work” and “the system is gradually coming back online to allow system pressure to be restored.”

The boil water advisory was still in effect For much of AtlantaHowever, until the Environmental Protection Division of Georgia decides, the consultation may be cancelled.

According to CBS affiliate WANF-TVThe Georgia State Capitol, Georgia Supreme Court and Atlanta City Hall were without water on Friday.

Some attractions and businesses, including the Georgia Aquarium and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, remained closed Saturday.

“The citywide water problem continues to plague the aquarium and many others in the area. It doesn’t affect our animals, but it affects our guests’ places like toilets,” the aquarium posted on the social platform X.

According to WANF, the aquarium was expected to reopen on Sunday.

The water main break also forced rapper Megan T. Stallion to move her concert from Friday to Sunday.

“I’m very disappointed because I had a big surprise for the Hotties tonight, but we’re following the mayor’s protocol,” was published On X “Praying for the people who have lost access to water because of this situation.”

Trouble began Friday morning when water gushed into a street where three major water mains intersect downtown, causing water problems at two hospitals, the city jail, the county jail and local shelters. A separate break occurred later in Midtown, adding to the problem.

Officials have been widely criticized for delaying informing citizens of the situation. The city and its water department sent out an update just after 8 p.m. Friday, and residents waited more than 12 hours to be updated again. Dickens did not address the media until 2 p.m. Saturday, explaining that he was in Memphis when the trouble began.

Someone in the affected area posted flyers in the neighborhood asking, “Don’t you have water?” and “Help me find our mayor.”

Dickens promised updates every two hours until the situation is resolved.

“Overnight, we didn’t do the best job of communicating. We could have done a better job over the course of the day, and I apologize for that,” he said.

Residents were asked to limit water consumption so that pressure in the system could be restored.

“Of course, we understand the urgency of restoring water service, but we also want to make sure we do it in a way that doesn’t cause further regression in our operations,” Atlanta Watershed Management Commissioner Al Wiggins Jr. said. Saturday’s press conference. “Any water supply, it’s fragile.”

He said he hoped service would be fully restored by Saturday, but could not guarantee that.

The city urged residents to check on elderly or sick neighbors and relatives.

“The entire city government is mobilized to resolve this issue,” the water department said Friday.

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