Distribution centers and store shelves were emptied of bottled water after Ohio’s fourth-largest city told residents not to drink from its water supply, citing contamination by toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie.

The Associated Press reports via The Guardian:

The warning effectively cut off the water supply to 400,000 people in Toledo, most of its suburbs and a few areas in south-eastern Michigan.

Worried residents told not to drink, brush their teeth or wash dishes with the water emptied store shelves and waited hours for deliveries of bottled water from across Ohio as the governor declared a state of emergency.

Governor John Kasich pledged that state agencies were working to bring water and other supplies to areas around Toledo while also assisting hospitals and other businesses affected. The state also was making plans to make more deliveries if the water problem lingered, he said.

Late Saturday, Kasich ordered the state’s National Guard to deliver water purification systems, bottled water and ready-to-eat meals to residents in Lucas, Wood and Fulton counties. He said it was too early to say how long the water advisory would last or what caused the spike in toxins. Officials said samples of water were flown to federal and state Environmental Protection Agency offices in Cincinnati and Columbus and the University of Michigan for further testing.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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