FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — Crews are cleaning up a day after a sewer line ruptured in Fort Lauderdale, triggering severe flooding and a water advisory warning in a residential neighborhood.

The break happened Tuesday evening, in a 20-inch sewer line somewhere in the area of the Regal Trace Apartments, located at 540 N.W. 4th Ave. The sewage water in some parts reached up to a foot and covered five square blocks.

Large pump trucks responded to the scene and worked into the night to get the putrid water off of the streets. Wednesday, they continue to pump and pressure clean the streets.

James Williams called authorities when the rupture happened. "I opened up my room window to get some air, and the next thing you heard was, ‘Boom!’" he said. "I had my windows closed, but you could still smell it."

Wednesday morning, the smell continued to fill the air at that apartment complex. "It was tough to sleep with the smell and also the noise, because we still had the trucks in the complex," said resident Tim Kelly. "You close your window, but you don’t want to close your window because the smell already got into the house."

The floods reached a local daycare, which affected caretakers who wanted to leave to go home. "It’s real bad," said Andrea who works at the daycare. "One of our teachers right now, we’re all trying to get into our vehicles, and it’s getting real crazy."

Residents of the area were also in disbelief as their complex flooded. "They say it’s sewage, but they’re passing out papers saying it’s not their fault," said Amiracle Webb. "It’s not their fault, but I’m still mad."

The City of Fort Lauderdale, consulting with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, issued a precautionary advisory for locals to cease all water-related recreational activities in the downtown area until further notice. That includes swimming, jet-skiing and other water-related activities. Motorists as well as pedestrians were also advised to avoid the area.

Bruce O’Neal, who has been living at this apartment complex for years, was shocked. "Of course the sewer, feces and urine got into it. I mean, this smell, that smell, and it’s been like this since about 2 in the afternoon," he said.

O’Neal did not take the sewage flooding lightly. "I have three bags on each foot and two rubber bands on each foot."

Large pump trucks responded to the scene and worked into the night to get the putrid water off of the streets.

The precautionary advisory will remain in effect until further notice as authorities attempt to drain the sewage water. For more information, please contact the City of Fort Lauderdale 24-hour Customer Service Center at 954-828-8000 or

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox