Power outage leads to loss of water service in some areas

As the power blinked off across the northeast on Thursday, water systems struggled to keep water flowing to millions of customers.

As the power blinked off across the northeast on Thursday, water systems struggled to keep water flowing to millions of customers. While water storage tanks and backup power systems helped maintain service in most of the region, water service was interrupted in some areas.

The water system in Cleveland, OH, was shut down when its four major water supply pumps were brought down by the power outage. Cleveland Water Commissioner Julius Ciaccia told the Associated Press that," "This is the crisis of a career for me."

Only one station is needed to pump water to all Cleveland's customers, but officials never anticipated all four would go down at once, Ciaccia was quoted as saying.

Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell said that Cleveland Public Power restored power to 23 of its substations Friday morning. The water system's four pumping stations were brought back on line, but the city had to flush 5,000 miles of pipes before water service could be fully restored, officials said.

Earlier Friday, Campbell estimated that close to a million people lost their water service during the power outage. Cleveland residents were warned to boil their drinking water because of the danger that the system could have become contaminated when pressure was lost during the outage.

Residents also were being advised not to swim in Lake Erie due to the danger of sewage spills that resulted from the power outage.

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