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Portland airport called in 60 port-a-potties after water line break

Port-a-potties are in place in New York’s Central Park in preparation for Pope Francis’ visit in 2015.
Port-a-potties are in place in New York’s Central Park in preparation for Pope Francis’ visit in 2015. AP

All of the bathrooms at Portland International Airport were shut down on Wednesday afternoon following a water line break that left the terminal without running water.

In place of the airport’s 100 permanent bathrooms, the airport planned to haul in 60 port-a-potties, the Oregonian reports. By around 6 p.m. local time, the water line was repaired and the real bathrooms were expected to reopen, the airport announced on Twitter. The port-a-potties were sent back.

Workers had been trying to fix the water line break in the airport’s parking garages since around 2:45 p.m. when it happened, and hoped to have water back by 10 p.m., spokeswoman Kama Simonds told the newspaper.

“We ask that people use the restroom before they come here,” Simonds said before running water was restored, according to the Oregonian.

Some airport restaurants shut down without running water, KPTV reports, but the water problem didn’t immediately ground any flights.

Restaurants erected temporary hand-washing stations and those that remained open were selling food that had already been made, KATU reports.

One passenger characterized the airport bathroom fiasco as “gross,” according to KATU.

Flight crews told passengers landing in Portland to brace themselves for the lack of running water, one person wrote on Twitter.

“I also now regret that last bottle of water I consumed,” the passenger said.

Another passenger compared the airport to a developing country.

A third person at the airport shared a photo of the bathrooms on Twitter and commented about the advantages of being a urinal user.

Miami-Dade commissioners approved a living wage for airport workers in July. But exemptions in the rule mean thousands of workers are still making less than $13 an hour, including many for American Airlines.

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