As more businesses temporarily close in Florida, many people are losing their jobs and struggling to pay their bills.
But some companies and local agencies have announced some plans to help those affected by the crisis.
The Florida Power and Light (FPL) is suspending electrical disconnections and providing payment extensions for customers amid the coronavirus.
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Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has directed the county's Water and Sewer (WASD) department to suspend the disconnection of water services for non-payment for the next 30 days.
“It is imperative that customers have continuous and reliable access to drinking water during this state of emergency," Gimenez said in a news release.
WASD said it has also re-connected services for customers who services have been previously disconnected.
The Broward County's Water and Wasterwater Services is taking similar steps by suspending all "turn-offs" for a 30-day period. The agency said it will re-evaluate the decision after that period and a formal policy is established.
The county also shared a survey that was sent to the 28 water utilities serving residents in Broward. Most are suspending the disconnection of water services for customers who don't pay on time. This is a breakdown:
- Coconut Creek: Disconnections due to non-payment have been suspended since March 18.
- Cooper City: All disconnections for non-payment have been suspended until further notice.
- Coral Springs: All disconnections for non-payment have been suspended until further notice.
- Dania Beach: Disconnections are suspended during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Deerfield Beach: Disconnections suspended until the city is no longer in an emergency state.
- Fort Lauderdale: Disconnections due to non-payment have been suspended since March 13.
- Lauderhill: All disconnections suspended for the next 30 days. The city will re-evaluate prior to that time.
- Margate: The city stopped processing disconnections on March 17 for an unknown period.
- Miramar: A 90-day moratorium on water service disconnections was implemented on March 12.
- North Lauderdale: Disconnections suspended until further notice.
- Oakland Park: All disconnections have been suspended. Customers will still be responsible for payment afterwards. Commercial turn-offs are also suspended but if service was already disconnected, payment is required.
- Plantation: Residential disconnections are suspended until March 31. The city will re-evaluate at that time. Commercial turn-offs will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Pompano Beach: All water disconnections for non-payment suspended for the next 60 days. The city will re-evaluate at that time.
- Wilton Manors: All disconnections due to non-payment have been suspended until further notice.
- North Springs Improvement District: All disconnections suspended.
- Davie: Disconnections suspended until further notice.
- Fern Crest Utility: All disconnections for non-payment suspended. The duration of the suspension is indefinite and will be determined by the progress or halting of the COVID-19 crisis.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of the article mistakenly reported all disconnections for non-payment in the City of Coconut Creek occurred on March 23rd. City officials confirmed the decision was made March 18th.