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Power failure blamed in New Orleans water issues

3:37 PM, Mar 3, 2013   |    comments
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Taps in New Orleans briefly went dry after a boiler's heating flame went out of control in the plant supplying electricity for the city's water treatment.

Marcia St. Martin, executive director of the city's Sewerage and Water Board, says the outage lasted less than 20 min Sunday morning. Twitter came alive with residents bemoaning the loss about 9 a.m.

Martin says the loss of pressure opened the way for possible contamination, and water samples are being taken citywide.

She says all sample collection should be complete this afternoon, and results should be available about 24 hours later.

Officials have advised more than 300,000 residents on the Mississippi River's east bank to boil water for drinking, brushing their teeth or preparing food for at least 24 hours.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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