PORTLAND -- Portland residents late Friday morning began to cope with the boil water alert, from schools to restaurants to inside their homes.
Grocery stores saw bottles and jugs of water fly off the shelves within minutes of the announcement.
Background: City of Portland issues E. coli boil water alert
Bottled water flying off the shelves at QFC off Barnes RD. pic.twitter.com/aloNjjvluU— Mark Hanrahan (@mark_hanrahan) May 23, 2014
Several restaurants scrambled to figure out what they could and couldn't serve. Starbucks stores, for example, began selling only pre-packaged items.
Schools in Portland already have bottled water supplies on each campus, said district spokeswoman Christine Miles. If there are shortages, extra cases will be delivered, she said.
At lunchtime Friday, students will be offered water, plus other beverages for free, she said.
Classes are in session Friday for only a few more hours, followed a by a long weekend, she said. The district will monitor the situation over the Memorial Day weekend.
Portland hospitals also said they were adhering to the boil water notice and they had bottled water on hand for their patients and staff.
Officials from the Portland Water Bureau said it was the largest boil order in Portland history.