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Officials: Water main break outage may stretch into weekend

September 13, 2019
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Tennessee American Water Director of Engineering Kurt Stafford speaks during a press conference at the Hamilton County Emergency Communications Center on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Tennessee American Water is working to repair a water main break that happened Thursday evening near its plant on Wiehl Street (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)
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Tennessee American Water Director of Engineering Kurt Stafford speaks during a press conference at the Hamilton County Emergency Communications Center on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Tennessee American Water is working to repair a water main break that happened Thursday evening near its plant on Wiehl Street (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A water main break has caused faucets to run dry in a large metropolitan area in Tennessee.

News outlets report residents in parts of Chattanooga and Hamilton County could be without water until Saturday. Tennessee American Water Chief Engineer Kurt Stafford said at a news conference Friday that the break happened Thursday night near a planned maintenance project at the company’s plant.

The 36-inch (91-centimeter) water main is one of the largest in the area’s water system. It’s unclear what caused the break.

All city and government offices have been closed and county schools dismissed early Friday. Some hospitals are operating under emergency protocols.

Stafford says crews hope to have water to lower elevations by Friday evening, but higher elevations may not have water until Saturday morning.

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