Most lights back on in Cleveland
Mayor: Until Sunday, drinking water must be boiled
CLEVELAND, Ohio (CNN) -- Electricity was restored to most customers in Cleveland by Friday afternoon, but the mayor warned that until midday Sunday, residents must boil drinking water to eliminate possible contamination.
A day after a widespread power outage that also affected parts of eight states and Canada, Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell told reporters that concerns had been raised that sewage might have contaminated drinking water, and the Environmental Protection Agency would not have results of its safety tests until the weekend.
However, she said, water pressure would be back to normal later Friday evening for all of Cleveland Water System's customers.
"All of our water tanks and towers are filling up right now," Campbell said.
Four pumping stations and their backup systems serving Cleveland failed after the outage Thursday afternoon.
Cleveland has 5,000 miles of water lines. Residents living at lower elevations were the first whose service was restored, Campbell said.
The National Guard had set up sites around Cleveland to distribute drinking water but will be deployed outside the city as water service is restored.
Earlier Friday, Campbell said, "We estimate that close to a million people lost their water over the course of the evening [Thursday]."
Other city services have been restored, and infrastructure like lift bridges are working again, she said..
Only about 1 percent of the city's traffic lights were still offline, Campbell said.
The mayor -- as did New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- urged people to conserve energy to lessen the load on the power system.
She said the city had no major crime problems during the blackout, but 19 people were arrested on burglary charges. On an average summer night, at least 30 people are arrested, she said.
"Cleveland was very calm, and people behaved extremely well," Campbell said of her city's residents.
There were a dozen fires, and an elderly couple was hospitalized.
About 100 prisoners were moved from jails to more secure facilities, Campbell said, but they were being moved back to their regular cells Friday.
The sewer system was fully operational, but untreated sewage leaked into the Cuyahoga River Thursday night. Beaches were closed until workers finished testing the water.
Elsewhere in Ohio, spotty power outages stretched from Erie and Huron counties in the north-central part of the state to Ashtabula County in the northeast.
Outages were also reported as far south as Knox County, said Jeff Grayson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety in Columbus.
Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport was back in operation by Thursday night, but airport commissioner Fred Szabo said the power outage played havoc with flights.
Local media reports said passengers were trapped briefly on a roller coaster Thursday at Cedar Point, an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio.
Park employees walked up the tracks to lead them to safety.